Exploring the Philippines inside a box with Hijos Tours

A travel subscription box where you can experience San Pablo City even at home.

One of the most gravely affected industries by the COVID-19 pandemic is Tourism. Due to limited mobility and implementation of health measures to contain the spread of the virus, many tourism-related businesses have temporarily put their operations on hold. But one tour company thought outside of the box through packaging a different travel experience, inside a box.

CARD MRI Hijos Tours, a Laguna-based tour company established in 2017, offers “Travel Goals in a Box” that allows travelers to explore and experience local tourist destination in the comforts of their homes. The travel box comes with VR glasses which can be used to experience a virtual tour of selected cities in the Philippines. To make the experience even more holistic, local food delicacies, souvenir items and fun educational games are also included in the travel box.

“At the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, we certainly knew that tourism will be hit greatly. We have to be proactive and think of innovative ways to continue our mandate of providing a meaningful travel experience to our travelers while still assisting the local community engaged in our company,” said CARD MRI Hijos Tours President Marilyn M. Manila. Keeping in mind its purpose, Hijos Tours curated a travel box that contains the products of the local communities complemented with their local virtual reality tours.

Hijos Tours continues to celebrate local culture, food, people, and their stories. Every product inside the box is locally made by the communities Hijos Tours is working with. The physical tour guides now serve as virtual tour guides.

“If you miss many of your 2020 travel goals because of the crisis, we offer our tour boxes and virtual tours in San Pablo City and Iloilo City. We are currently crafting our tour boxes for Samar and Leyte, Davao, and Baguio which will be soon offered to the public,” said Manila.

“Clients can spend quality time with their family as they find beautiful scenery to these places, and learn their history, culture, and tradition through our 360° videos and our customized games in a more cost-efficient way,” Manila emphasized.

Become part of a greater mission

Manila also shared that for every box subscribers, part of it will go to Hijos Tours community tour guides and suppliers. “Aside from the company, our thoughts are with our local communities who rely on our tour programs. No one should be left behind. As we adapt to this new landscape, we remain true to our purpose. We always ensure to empower the communities we are serving through our innovative products and services.”

Subscribers of the travel box will also be able to support cultural growth and encourage development to these local communities.

Community-based tourism

CARD MRI Hijos Tours started as a tour program of CARD Mutually Reinforcing Institutions (CARD MRI) in 2013. It was then officially registered as a Tour Company in 2017. To date, Hijos Tours has more than 56 families being assisted by its five tour programs. To learn more about Hijos Tours and its products and services, its official Facebook page is www.facebook.com/HijosToursOfficial