THE usual way tourists get to go sightseeing is to ride a bus and enjoy breathtaking sights from the window. And tourists also get to disembark from a bus to take an actual stroll in a popular tourist spot.
But the growing popularity of Segway Personal Transporters (PTs) is taking tourism to another level in a number of tourist spots worldwide. In the Philippines, Simply Moving Philippines Inc. (SMPI) wants Filipinos to experience tourism the Segway way, literally.
“Because with a tour bus, you see [sights]from the window and go down [to stroll]. With Segway PTs, you get to experience the place,” said Wilson Lei, president and chief executive officer of SMPI.
Although SMPI is also into selling Segway PTs, it is actively promoting its Segway Tours where the personal transporters are used by domestic and foreign tourists to tour and experience select attractions in the Philippines.
Already in place is Segway Boracay Tours in Aklan and just started more than a month ago is Segway Tours Intramuros in Manila. The prices for the tours in Intramuros range from P1,000 to P2,000 depending on length of time.
Lei said that from Intramuros, the Segway tour in Manila can be expanded to include Rizal (Luneta) Park and the Manila Bay area, which are the historical parts of the city.
“Manila was the second most devastated city in World War 2. So there are few [surviving]historical sites. And we want to support the tourism industry,” he added.
While its tour business is taking off the ground, SMPI has sold a good number of the Segway PTs since they were introduced into the Philippines in 2012. Among the major clients of SMPI are security agencies, and large resort and tourist companies.
“We are talking here of the big ones [resorts]like Misibis Bay, Balesin Resort, Plantation Bay and Pearl Farm. We have sold north to south,” Lei said.
He explained Segway PTs share the same virtues of most electric vehicles, particularly lesser moving parts and being free of emissions.
“An electric motor is more efficient than an [internal combustion]engine. And there’s no need for a gearbox,” Lei said.
“That’s why we got Segway, to position ourselves in the EV [electric vehicle]market,” he added.
Since hitting Philippine shores, about 200 units of various Segway PTs have been sold. With prices ranging from P400,000 to nearly P515,000, the Segway PTs are not for everyone. But for people like Lei, going “green” is a trend that cannot be avoided.