Attract more arrivals

KALIBO, AKLAN — Tourism destinations with improved internet connectivity get a bigger share of the global tourism pie.

They attract more arrivals, improve business operations and get more exposure, which eventually lead to job generation and livelihood creation.

This is what Converge ICT Solutions Inc., a fiber internet service provider, hopes to see happening in Boracay Island and the rest of the tourism hotspots in the country as it eyes to roll out its fiber broadband network.

“We are finally here in Boracay, so now businesses of every size can harness the full potential of digitization with our pure fiber connectivity and tailored solutions. Our service does not only mean a better digital experience for their customers but a more seamless way of working and operating,” said Dennis Anthony Uy, co-founder and chief executive officer at Converge, on Wednesday, May 3, 2023 at Hennan Palm Beach Resort Boracay.

Uy challenged businesses in the island to think digital and transform their operations for greater efficiency to better serve the demands of tech-reliant travelers.

The hospitality industry is expected to be the biggest beneficiary of the company’s arrival as the island braces itself for the surge of local and international tourists after the lifting of Covid-19 pandemic restrictions.

Boracay is just one of the many tourism hotspots in the country that Converge wants to power up. Uy said he intends to also bring the fast, reliable and affordable connection to other tourism destinations like Palawan, Bohol and Siargao, among others.

Uy said the rollout of its fiber infrastructure in tourism areas is a boost to the country’s tourism image.

“It’s the image of the country (that we are trying to elevate). We don’t want foreigners to experience bad internet connection when they come to the Philippines,” he said, adding that as much as possible tourists must have a fun experience here.

Tourist arrivals

Some 1.75 million tourists were welcomed in Boracay Island last year.

Most of the island’s visitors were domestic or local tourists with 1,588,079 arrivals, while foreign tourists numbered 132,687, and overseas Filipino workers or overseas Filipinos were 38,826.

Though Converge is already a latecomer in the island, Uy said being a young (company) and a latecomer also have their perks.

“Check the technology first. Let’s compare. Our technology is more advanced and state-of-the-art,” he said. “We are young, and we don’t have baggage. We can move quickly to meet your needs. You can rely on us. We are not perfect, but we are passionate about your business.”

Converge has already completed its fiber infrastructure in Panay Island, powering up five provinces with two to three submarine cables connected to the island.

Because of this, businesses and their patrons are expected to enjoy the benefits of seamless, secured and uninterrupted business-grade connectivity services, said Uy.

Good business increases the island’s revenue, which in turn would result in better infrastructure and other forms of social services for its constituents.

Meanwhile, local residents will have access to stable and affordable internet with Converge flagship connectivity product FiberX.

Uy said Converge has spent about P100 billion for the development of its infrastructure in the country, including investments in subsea cables and landing stations, among others.

Earlier, Tourism Secretary Christina Frasco said improved internet connectivity will further boost the gains of the tourism sector that has contributed greatly to the country’s gross domestic product over the years next to trade.

She said going digital in all manner of tourist transactions will entice tourists, both foreign and local, to tour the country seamlessly.