In continued support for Mindanao tourism, PLDT and its wireless unit Smart Communications, Inc. (Smart) provided a connectivity boost for the 2nd Mindanao Tourism Expo (MTEx) 2024, enabling online registration and livestreaming for the event.  Organized by the Department of Tourism (DOT) Region 10 with the theme “Limitless Adventures in Mindanao”, MTEx showcased different tourism destinations and cuisine, shining a spotlight on the vibrant colors of Mindanao. 

“We commend the consistent efforts of PLDT and Smart, our partners in the pursuit of ‘Limitless Adventures’ for tourism development. The recently concluded Mindanao Tourism Expo is a testament to our shared goals for Northern Mindanao; showcasing innovative tourism initiatives, and boosting the campaign for ecotourism opportunities,” said DOT 10 Regional Director Marie Elaine Unchuan.

Considered one of the biggest travel expos in the country, the expo brought together tourism stakeholders from different regions nationwide. DOT Secretary Christina Garcia Frasco, during her speech, highlighted the importance of Mindanao tourism. “Nganong dili man Mindanao nga naa man dinhi nga daghan kaayo mga nindot nga talan-awon? (Why not Mindanao when there are a lot of beautiful spots here?) The biodiversity here in Mindanao is like no other. The culture that holds the key to the Filipino identity is alive and well. Mindanao is a source of national pride in the Philippines,” she said. 

Aside from connectivity support, PLDT and Smart also raffled off a mobile phone and took part as one of the event’s exhibitors. As long-time partners of DOT Region 10, the group has previously conducted capacity building initiatives and provided technology support for the agency’s Limitless Adventures campaign to boost tourism in Northern Mindanao.

“We at PLDT and Smart have long supported the tourism sector by championing digital innovations that facilitate tourism, and by promoting resilience among destination communities where tourism is a primary livelihood. This is because we believe that technology-aided tourism stimulates countryside economic recovery,” according to Judee D. Chaves, Mindanao Relations Head at PLDT and Smart.

These initiatives are aligned with PLDT and Smart’s continued efforts to boost internet services, enabling promotions for the tourism industry, especially in Mindanao. They also reinforce the PLDT Group’s commitment to support the government’s national digital transformation agenda, and champions UN Sustainable Development Goal 9, which focuses on building resilient infrastructure and fostering innovation.