The Department of Tourism (DOT) launched on Thursday the Hop-On, Hop-Off (HOHO) Manila Cultural Hub tours, increasing tourism offerings in Metro Manila.
The new circuit is the second of its kind after the pilot of HOHO Makati Financial Hub tours on May 28.
“Our President envisions a tourism industry that is able to compete shoulder to shoulder with our neighbors in Asia, as well as the rest of the world. And that is why we introduced tourism to the digital age through this ‘Hop-On, Hop-Off’ Bus Tours that allows tourists to book through an app, curate their experiences, and travel at their own convenience,” Tourism Secretary Christina Frasco said during the launch.
She noted that after the pandemic, there had been a global change in travel trends and the desire of travelers for more immersive experiences has grown.
“Travel trends continue to change, and it is incumbent upon us in the national government and local government to adapt. It is time for us to evolve and to truly understand the necessity of ensuring that we are not left behind in the post-pandemic world,” she said.
With the new HOHO Manila, Frasco hopes to reintroduce and share the capital’s heritage and culture with both local and foreign tourists.
The Cultural Hub will have nine stops that will make the rounds of Robinsons Manila, Raja Sulayman, Rizal Park Luneta, National Museum, Malacañang Heritage Tours, City Hall, Escolta, Binondo, and Intramuros.
Tourists can choose from curated and do-it-yourself itineraries with the option for private and guided tours.
The introductory price for the HOHO Manila Cultural Hub tour starts at PHP1,000 per person.
The Philippines HOHO features a dedicated website with all information, a reloadable EMV-capable card, a mobile app for booking tours and making cashless payments, GPS networked-bus arrival monitoring and video guides, as well as information on hotels, food, and tourism merchants.
In 2022, Metro Manila recorded a total of 5.3 million overnight tourists, with Manila ranking fourth with 710,275 arrivals, while Makati City ranks one level higher with 969,927 arrivals.
The cities of Pasay and Parañaque rank first and second.
Meanwhile, the City of Manila tops the same-day arrivals with 7.4 million recorded in the same period last year, DOT records show. (PNA)