News and Updates
DOT launches Tourist Assistance Call Center
Manila, Philippines—Tourism Secretary Christina Garcia Frasco herself made the first call to the first-ever centralized and multi-platform Tourist Assistance Call Center launched on Monday (Oct. 2) at the Department of Tourism (DOT) Central Office in Makati City.
The newest tourism innovation of is in line with the Marcos administration’s thrust to revitalize the tourism industry as an engine for economic growth and fulfill one of the objectives of the National Tourism Development Plan (NTDP) 2023 to 2028 to enhance the overall tourist experience in the Philippines.
According to the tourism chief, the Tourist Assistance Call Center shall serve as the hotline and one-stop shop for local and foreign tourists, made available to provide tourism- and travel-related information and extend assistance if any to untoward incidents that may occur during the tourist visit.
“We are delighted to launch today the Tourist Assistance Call Center that aims to fulfill our President’s vision to enhance the overall tourist experience in the country. This is a first for the Department of Tourism where we have consolidated the modes of assistance that can be given to tourists from the national government agencies and regional offices that will then coordinate with our local government units,” Secretary Frasco said in a message during the launch.
“One of the strategic approaches of the National Tourism Development Plan approved by President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. is on the aspect of convenience. The convenience of travelers must be the central focus of our efforts and programs,” she added, noting that the goal is not just to lure more tourists but to also gain repeat customers.
The Secretary herself was the first client of the call center agent who personally relayed her queries on diving in Mindanao, to which the agent based in Angeles City, Pampanga enthusiastically answered her questions.
A first DOT-led nationwide tourism telecommunication assistance
During the launch, Secretary Frasco emphasized the importance of the project, as the first professional nationwide online and telecommunication assistance center established by the DOT.
There are an initial eight tourist assistance agents fluent in English and Filipino languages who will be working on shifts as well as two quality assurance team members, and two trainers. They are outsourced agents of service provider Universal Access & Systems Solutions (UAS), an IT solutions company. The tourism chief also mentioned plans to expand and “add foreign language-trained agents in time to come”.
However, the Secretary noted that the DOT will not limit the number of agents who will be working for the call center, should the need arise.
The agents have also been trained for three months, with extensive knowledge of tourism and travel services, including the Filipino Brand of Service Excellence (FBSE).
The agents are ready to receive inquiries beginning today, from local and international tourists traveling to and around the country.
The public can relay their queries through multi-platform support via hotline number 151-TOUR / 151-8687 or mobile by dialing +63995-835-5155. They may also opt to contact via email at email@example.com; or through Facebook messenger at https://www.facebook.com/DepartmentOfTourism; web chat at https://philippines.travel/ and https://beta.tourism.gov.ph/; or via https://philippines.travel/ and https://beta.tourism.gov.ph.
The Tourist Assistance Call Center will also cater to tourists from different time zones and will be open 24/7, even on public holidays to ensure uninterrupted service. The operating hours or service levels will be the same for weekends and weekdays.
Call center agents will be taking all kinds of queries as they come, including general tourism inquiries, even those concerning the local level, DOT accreditation guidance, travel assistance, complaint resolution, and emergency assistance, among others.
However, complex queries will be resolved by the concerned unit and followed through by the call center until resolution.
All transactions are recorded in a customer relationship management (CRM) with a ticketing system. General Inquiries are resolved within the call or chat. If the concern is for escalation, this is endorsed to the respective DOT regional office (RO), local government unit (LGU), attached agency, or national government agency (NGA) via email.
”Tourism is one of the strongest pillars of our economy. And therefore, the effort of the Department of Tourism is to ensure that we continue to provide innovative services to the industry that correspond to the demands of our customers and clients. We foresee that by providing this tourist assistance call center, this will increase the tourism experience. This will also assist in providing further livelihood and employment opportunities for those in the tourism value chain,” Secretary Frasco also emphasized.
Published:October 2, 2023