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Smart partners with CebuPac

MANILA, Philippines - Smart Communications Inc. of dominant carrier Philippine Long Distance Telephone Co. (PLDT) has tied up with budget airline Cebu Air Inc. (Cebu Pacific) to allow tourists to stay online and connected while traveling around the Philippines.

Michele Curran, first vice president for Data and International Services at Smart, said the partnership is in line with the campaign of the Department of Tourism to lure more foreign visitors into the Philippines.

“With international tourist arrivals expected to grow further in the coming years, we see a bright spot in targeting foreign travelers who want to experience what the Philippines has to offer. Partnering with Cebu Pacific Air opens a wider market for Smart as they continually expand their route network to more countries worldwide,” Curran said.

The Aquino administration aims to double tourist arrivals to 10 million by 2016 from about 5.7 million this year. Last year, tourist arrivals grew by 9.56 percent to 4.68 million from a year ago.

Data showed that foreign tourist arrivals in the Philippines went up by 3.27 percent to 3.27 million from January to August this year compared to 3.18 million in the same period last year.

Under the strategic partnership agreement, passengers aboard the inbound international flights of Cebu Pacific could purchase the Cebu Pacific Fun Data SIM powered by Smart Bro from cabin crew inflight starting Dec. 1.

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Cebu Pacific vice president for Marketing and Distribution Candice Iyog said it is the first airline in the country to offer an innovative travel product that caters to the communication needs of its passengers.

She added that the tie up also allows Smart to tap into new markets, particularly visiting tourists from Asia and around the world, bolstered by the increasing number of international tourist arrivals in the country.

Iyog said the airline flies from 28 international destinations to the Philippines, and serves growing foreign tourist markets from South Korea, Japan, China and Australia, among others.

Likewise, it also operates the most extensive network in the country, providing foreign visitors convenient access to the Philippines’ many islands.

“Aside from offering a relevant product to suit our passengers’ needs, we believe this will also contribute to the country’s tourism agenda. The Cebu Pacific Fun Data SIM powered by Smart Bro can enable guests to share their fun experiences online, real-time, wherever they may be in the Philippines,” Iyog added.

With the Cebu Pacific Fun Data SIM worth P500, tourists can enjoy 1.5 GB worth of data which they can use to upload photos on Facebook and Instagram, or send a quick tweet or chat with friends and relatives abroad.

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