Monday, February 05, 2007

Manila Times Article

Our little baby in beta ( got featured in an online manila times article. Reposting it here. benefits
microenterprises in Vigan

A local tour guide and car rental operator based in Vigan may not have the knowledge or the resources to promote their services to a potential tourist from the other side of the continent. But soon, even those tasty empanadas created by the town’s manangs can be a byword in the ever-growing global village concept created by Internet technology.

For those who are interested to climb the High Peak in Palauig, Zambales—considered the highest point in Central Luzon at 2,030 meters—can now start with “a click of a mouse” by visiting www.Hop­, a web portal offering Internet visibility to micro-entrepreneurs in the country, along with the capacity to provide tourism services to local and foreign travelers.

“Entrepreneurs engaged in the tourism industry from all over the country will soon be given a ‘voice’ and a ‘face’ in the worldwide web for all travelers to see with the launch of HopAround,” Philip Camara, president of said.

Micro entrepreneurs in Palauig and nearby Iba who provide 4x4 vehicles, packed meals, camping gear, personal guides, and more, can now make their services visible in the Internet by registering at

“HopAround’s basic advocacy is ‘Local Economy for Local People.’ The web portal will create new business opportunities for micro-entrepreneurs, referred to as Micro Tourism Service Providers [MTSP], who can provide transport, lodging, meals, guides, gear, packaged tours among others, for tourists,” Philip said.

Because the MTSPs are from the area, they have extensive knowledge of their particular locations and therefore know the most scenic destinations, the most interesting local culture sites, the best out-of-the-way local fare eateries, the most knowledgeable personal guides, the cleanest and most comfortable lodgings, and at the most competitive rates available, offering the tourist a totally different experience from the usual tour and travel packages in the market.

The HopAround website presents popular spots around the Philippines which tourists can review while mapping out their travel plans. Each destination will be linked with registered MTSPs from the chosen locality, each MTSP allocated with an online information box where the MTSPs contact details are posted and a chat window for inquiries provided. The tourist may access the listing of MTSPs and the contact details by clicking on the desired point of interest or location, thereby allowing direct interaction between the MTSP and the tourist or allowing the tourist to post an inquiry in the MTSP’s chat window.

“The more service providers there are enlisted to cater to this growing number of tourists, the better the local tourism industry will be. And since tourism impacts the economy greatly, both people and country will benefit,” he added.

oh yeah, hopefully this will let both foreign and local tourists/travellers find awesome destinations in the Philippines!

froggie nox
-- Life is an adventure. Look around, hop around...

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