Twitter: @edd1819, Instagram: @bluestar0910, Facebook: SDN — Science, Digital & Current Affairs
By EDD K. USMAN
Short URL: https://wp.me/paaccn-9F1
MANILA (SDN) — Tourism has been one of the hardest hit when the coronavirus virus (Covid-19) emerged in December 2019, sweeping the world with infections and deaths.
It’s because travels and movements have been curtailed from country to country, from city to city, from community to community. Governments resorted to sometimes extreme measures to contain the transmission and spread of the fatal disease, forcing the World Health Organization (WHO) in March 2020 to declare a global pandemic. All because of the virus that first emerged in China’s Wuhan City, Hubei Province.
Huawei’s over 600 million users a big boost
Not the least affected was the Philippines, it’s tourism, a major source of revenue, getting hit in the chin. With what could be described as a knockout punch, at least in the early days of the lockdowns and quarantines.
With vaccines made available in many countries this year, some countries have started easing down on travel restrictions. But caution complements the gradual and careful opening of the economy.
The private sector has a significant role to play in this episode. One that has stood up to be counted in the Philippines is China’s tech titan, Huawei Technologies.
Very recently Huawei Philippines, as relayed to SDN — Science & Digital News by Karenina “Karrie” Escueta-Buenafe, the company’s senior public relations manager, struck a partnership with the Department of Tourism (DOT) aimed at promoting Philippine tourism and its hundreds of tourist spots, arts and culture, surely including the world famous Filipino hospitality.
Officials of Huawei and DOT formalized their engagement and collaboration with a virtual signing on May 14, 2021, of their Memorandum of Understanding (MOU).
It’s a huge boost anyway one looks at it because Huawei smartphones have over 600 million users worldwide.
Escueta-Buenafe said the two parties inked the MOU to promote the Philippines’ tourist destinations, arts and culture to its more than 600 million users around the world.
Among the attendees at the signing ceremony included Romulo-Puyat, DOT Assistant Secretary Howie Uyking, Huawei Philippines Vice President Daniel Guo, and Huawei Hong Kong Service Chief Operations Officer Wang Zhihui.
How the partnership works vis-a-vis Huawei app
It will showcase the Philippines’ world-class tourist spots, Filipino products and tourism-related events to Huawei Themes users in over 170 countries and regions. Under the MoU, Huawei Themes users can explore the Philippines curation series now under the “Pinoy Favorites” category on the app homepage.
The partnership calls for the tourism department to contribute and provide source images related to the Philippines’ arts and culture. Among others, the popular tourist destinations in the Philippines such as beaches, islands, heritage towns, and deep seas will be featured in the app.
Moving forward, DOT will also offer domestic tourism vouchers for hotels, attractions and tours to Huawei Themes users.
Romulo-Puyat in her speech expressed her gratitude to Huawei for supporting the DOT’s efforts in handling the pandemic’s effect on the tourism industry by lending its wide reach of smartphone users.
“Our strategy for the safe and gradual reopening of tourism in the Philippines will be greatly supported by this digital content partnership as it will offer Huawei users anywhere in the world with glimpses of our country’ beautiful destinations and allow them to customize their mobile devices with images of our tourism offerings,” Romulo-Puyat explains.
She hopes that through this project, Huawei smartphone users will be inspired to visit the Philippines once the government resumes international travel.
Meanwhile, Huawei Philippines’ Guo emphasized that Huawei’s collaboration with the DOT is in line with the “glocalization” approach of Huawei Philippines and Huawei Mobile Services (HMS).
“Huawei has established an extensive cooperation with the government, local businesses and communities, to continuously bring innovative digital services to consumers and create greater social values,” he says.
“Through the collaboration, we will curate a series of Philippines-centric wallpapers and smartphone themes, including the scenery landscapes and tourist attractions of the Philippines, as well as creative themes created by local artists, photographers, cartoonists and animators,” Guo adds.
The MoU will not only help promote beautiful places in the Philippines but will also open a door of opportunity for talented Filipinos. Mobile themes created by passionate marine environment artist AG Saño and digital artists Mariel Garcia, Nelvin Supilanas, Rehts Merejilla and Mark Magnaye are now available in Huawei Themes.
Huawei Themes is one of the first self-developed apps by HMS, In 2020, it achieved over 1.8 billion total themes download. By end of 2020, 96% of the Philippines local top apps, including GCash, PaymMaya, BDO Digital Banking, UnionBank Online, and SSS Mobile, have integrated with HMS Core and onboarded to AppGallery.
Through the open HMS Ecosystem, Huawei shares a number of innovative capabilities with its partners from various sectors, including tourism, which enable high-quality, convenient and safe applications to reach every Huawei device user in a more direct way. With this, Huawei is able to lower the connectivity cost and expand service coverage, bringing modern digital services to a wider user base. By providing localized service applications in more countries and regions, Huawei makes All-Scenario services more accessible to users, jointly improving service efficiency and digitization level of services.
So, let’s go travel if and when the government allows. Until then, go virtual, but travel. (/)
Note: Featured image of Underground River in Puerto Princesa, Palawan, courtesy of Department of Tourism (DOT).
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