Philippine Tourists Receive Free SIM Cards

Department of Tourism’s (DOT) marketing arm, the Tourism Promotions Board (TPB) has teamed up with Globe Telecom to drive its Visit the Philippines Year 2015 (VPY2015) campaign by giving out free SIM cards to tourists.

By offering its Globe Traveler SIM for free, the telco said that tourists — especially overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) — can expect better connectivity during their stay in the country.

Globe SVP for International Business Rizza Maniego-Eala said that the company was happy to be the first telco partner of the TPB in their thrust to make the Philippines the ultimate destination hub for tourists worldwide.

"Offering free SIMs is our way of helping travelers further enjoy their stay by enabling easy, affordable and hassle-free communications," Eala said in a statement.

"Staying connected is a priority for the millions of travelers who visit our country. They use mobile data to find information and share memorable experiences, while calls and SMS are still important tools to keep in touch,” she added.

TPB Chief Operating Officer Domingo Ramon Enerio III for his part expressed privilege in partnering with the telco giant to further promote the Philippines as a top tourist destination in Asia.

“Visit the Philippines Year 2015 aims to excite and encourage local and international visitors to actively participate in the year-long calendar of tourism activities that we have in the pipeline,” Enerio said.

“By working with Globe, we are optimistic that more tourists in the Philippines will enjoy seamless connectivity to share wonderful moments to their friends and families anywhere around the world," he added.

Traveler SIM features

The Globe Traveler SIM is a local prepaid SIM card that offers local rates for calls, texts, and mobile data services, giving tourists and visitors a more convenient and affordable way to reach their contacts from around the world from the Philippines.

Getting a local SIM will afford the user a more cost-efficient way to connect than using an international number which charges international call, text and browsing rates.

With the Globe Traveler SIM, users can receive calls and texts from abroad for free and cut costs on mobile data by subscribing to TravelSurf, which allows them to surf the Internet on mobile for an affordable rate of USD 11 for seven days or USD 23 for 30 days, giving them access to e-mails, social networking sites, apps, and travel blogs and reviews for a worry-free stay in the Philippines. Users can also call abroad for as low as USD 0.40 per minute.

Tourists and OFWs can claim the free Globe Traveler SIM by presenting their non-Philippine passport, foreign resident card, Seaman's book, or OFW E-card at any of the Globe booths located at NAIA, Cebu, Davao, Kalibo, Iloilo, and Clark International Airport starting July 30.

Tourist arrivals

Recent data from the DOT showed that the Philippines registered a total of 2.23 million international visitors from January to May 2015 alone, an 8.15 percent growth from the previous year.

The same report also revealed that the average length of stay of a tourist is 10 nights and has an average daily expenditure of Php 4,583.29, bringing total earnings generated from tourism activities to Php 93.907 billion for the first five months of 2015.

The report also showcased Korea as the country that led the top 10 visitor countries in the Philippines with the United States of America and Japan ranked 2nd and 3rd, respectively.

Other countries which had notable presence in international arrivals are China (4th), Australia (5th), Singapore (6th), Canada (7th), Taiwan (8th), the United Kingdom (9th), and Malaysia (10th).

DOT is currently working on its ambitious goal of acquiring 10-million foreign visitor arrivals by 2016. (PNA)RMA/Azer N. Parrocha

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