New online booking: It’s more fun on underground river tour


Travelers can now expect a smoother visit to the famous subterranean river in Puerto Princesa City with a new online booking system, a project launched by the Department of Tourism (DOT) in partnership with the local government.

MANILA, Philippines—Travelers from across the world can now expect a smoother visit to the country’s famous subterranean river in Puerto Princesa City with a new online booking system, a project launched by the Department of Tourism (DOT) in partnership with the local government.

In a statement issued Monday, the DOT said the online booking system was aimed at easing the traffic of tourists visiting the Puerto Princesa Underground River (PPUR) and avoiding confusion in securing permits from the PPUR office.

“Puerto Princesa City is a perfect example of a local government unit that works hand in hand with the national government,” said Tourism Secretary Ramon Jimenez Jr. in a statement on Monday.

“We in the department are enablers of tourism. The active participation on the ground is what makes things happen, as it is always done on the people’s behalf,” he said.

The DOT and the local government’s joint launch of the online booking system for the PPUR is just the beginning of their effort to implement measures that would help ensure that the world-famous attraction’s carrying capacity will not be compromised, said Jimenez.

Being named among the world’s new Seven Wonders of Nature last year, the 8.2-kilometer Palawan river has become a top tourism draw, recording an increase of 45 percent in arrivals since 2011, according to the DOT.

The tourism agency turned over the online booking system—which can be accessed through even by travel agencies all over the country and even abroad—to the city government on Feb. 7.

It noted that successful bookings will receive an e-mail notification, which will serve as a digital invoice that has to be printed and presented upon the visit to the PPUR.

For his part, Puerto Princesa Mayor Edward Hagedorn said he was optimistic the new system would result in “renewed fun” in the city and would help put in place a more efficient payment mode for visitors.

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  • redkinoko

    Been there. It was kind of a tourist trap. The length of the river isn’t apparent since the boat that takes you inside doesn’t go very far anyway. 

  • williamarthur

    i tried to access the website, its just a countdown page…is it working already?

  • Cano Manuel

    I don’t think “more fun” really lives up to the expectation. 

  • Adrian Edioma Migraso

    astig! pwede paypal! hehe

  • Jao Romero

    when i went there, booking was fine. but the waiting time took all day! we arrived early morning but got to go inside the cave nearly 5 in the afternoon. they need to increase the number of boats that ferries passengers!

    i almost want to tell everyone that asks me of my opinion of PPUR to stay away from there because of the long waiting time they will suffer.

    • anu12345

      If it will take that long, I will scratch that from my intended destinations.

      • shane oy

        not my loss. 

    • CheapJ

      Overbooking then. This could easily be addressed if there was a study/analysis how many passengers can be accommodated per boat, how many boats are available for a day, how long will it take a boat to traverse PPUR and how soon is the boat available for the next set of tourists. This is too simple for PPUR management to overlook.

    • NY_Pinoy

       The government is trying to streamline the system but the incentive system still favors the local tour operators.  We stayed at the Legend Hotel and took their tour package.  We had very minimal waiting time. 

      I suggest that would-be visitors book their visit with the local tour operators, typically associated with their hotels.  They need to do this at the moment of booking for the hotel. 

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