FOUR eco-tourism groups in Aloguinsan, Cebu are now ready to move to the digital space after attending the Panalo Community Training sponsored by Talk ‘N Text (TNT), the value brand of Smart Communications, Inc. (Smart), and organized by Grassroots Travel, a local company working with communities to help promote responsible and sustainable travel.

During the four-day training, the participants were able to create a demo website for their community groups. They also learned about travel trends, branding and packaging, blogging, photography, videography, social media marketing and analytics, online and digital marketing tools, and responsible use of the Internet.

Aloguinsan training

Boboi Costas, founder of Grassroots Travel, talks about sustainable eco tourism during the four-day Panalo Community Training in Aloguinsan, Cebu sponsored by Talk ‘N Text. During the training, members of people’s organizations who run eco-tourism programs in the town were able to create a demo website for their community groups and learned about travel trends, branding and packaging, blogging, photography, videography, social media marketing and analytics, online and digital marketing tools, and responsible use of the Internet.

“We are happy to support Aloguinsan people’s organizations (POs) because we see their commitment to promote their town through eco-tourism. The goal of the Panalo Community trainings is to help them provide better tourism experience by going digital,” said Smart Public Affairs-VisMin Senior Manager Atty. Maria Jane C. Paredes.

Eco-tourism associations

Aloguinsan Mayor Cynthia Moreno, during the closing remarks, also thanked the communities for taking the lead in promoting Aloguinsan. “Kamo, ang mga local community dinhi sa Aloguinsan, ang nagdala sa pangalan sa atong lungsod nga mailhan sa tibuok probinsya sa Sugbo, sa tibuok nasud ug sa kalibutan. Diba, nindot kaayo palandungon? (You (the local communities) made Aloguinsan known in the province of Cebu, in the country, and in the world. That’s really wonderful.),” said Mayor Moreno.

The participants of the training are members of four associations managing four different eco-tourism activities in Aloguinsan: Baetas or Bojo Aloguinsan Ecotourism Association (Bojo River cruise), Kea or Kantabogon Ecotourism Association (The Hermit’s Cove), Chat or Cultural Heritage for Aloguinsan Tourism (organic farm and culinary), and Arra or Aloguinsan Reef Rangers Association (snorkeling and dolphin-watching).

Atty. Haidee Acuña talks about the responsible use of the Internet during the training.

Atty. Haidee Acuña talks about the responsible use of the Internet during the training.

Internet.org initiative

The Panalo Community trainings are part of TNT’s campaign to promote Internet.org to empower communities by providing free access to 30 websites using mobile devices.

A Facebook-led initiative, Internet.org aims to make mobile Internet services available to two-thirds of the world who are not yet connected. Currently, over 4.5 million Filipinos use Internet.org.

Some of the sites that can be accessed without data charges are Accuweather and Rain Check for weather updates; Ask.com, Bing Search, WikiHow and Wikipedia for general information; BabyCenter and MAMA for pregnancy and childcare; Interaksyon.com, Inquirer.net, PhilStar.com, GMA News Online, Rappler and Sun.Star for news updates;

ESPN and Spin.ph for sports updates; PEP.ph for entertainment news; Facts for Life for health and hygiene; iMoney.ph and Your Money for personal finances, JobStreet.com for job search; Facebook and Messenger; OLX for online shopping; Sakay.ph for bus and train directions; TESDA for free programs and training; Wattpad for books and stories; and Dictionary.com.

 

First of 3 modules

TNT subscribers who are Android users may download the Internet.org app on Google Play Store while non-Android users can access the site by typing www.internet.org on their mobile browser. For step-by-step instructions, text INTERNET to 9999 or visit talkntext.com.ph/internetorg.

Participants gather after the day’s session.

Participants gather after the day’s session.

The Panalo Community training in Aloguinsan is the first of three modules designed by TNT and Grassroots Travel to help POs maximize the use of online and digital technologies in promoting eco-tourism in their town. The other two modules will cover resilient and sustainable tourism; and effective customer service as well as online mobile payments, respectively.

The same set of trainings will be held in three other towns in Southern Cebu namely Boljoon, Samboan, and Santander. (Press Release)

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