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 http://ppur.com.ph 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.