The Department of Tourism (DOT) has launched its first hop-on hop-off (HOHO) bus tours to provide group and individual travelers convenience and flexibility.
In a news release Monday, the DOT said the program would enable travelers to have seamless, contactless transport and tour booking systems.
Tourism Secretary Christina Garcia Frasco said the bus tour’s pilot launch in Makati City on Sunday marks an “exciting” time for the tourism industry, as the DOT plans to bring the project to other key destinations around the Philippines.
“Post-pandemic trends of travel have continued to evolve. People search for experiences that go beyond adventure, and fun, and they search for meaning. And that is why the (Philippines) Hop-On Hop-Off tours give opportunities for our tourists not only to be reminded of the spirit of modernity and innovation that Makati has always been known for, but also to get to know the soul of your city that lies in your hidden gems, in your museums, in the many stops that are covered by this tour that will allow our tourists–domestic and international alike – to get to know the people of Makati, to get to know your rich history, culture, and heritage,“ she said.
Frasco said the government would focus on the country’s promotion and address the essential pillars of tourism including infrastructure, connectivity, digitalization and innovation that will turn the country into a tourism powerhouse.
Upon full implementation of the Philippines Hop-On Hop-Off in Makati City, tourists can take the bus in designated stops within the city to enjoy its best spots and activities following suggested itineraries in every stop.
The destinations were curated by the DOT-National Capital Region (NCR) team.
The tour will cost around PHP1,000 per person.
The project, which takes inspiration from world-class hop-on hop-off buses in cities such as Abu Dhabi, Argentina, London, Madrid, New York, Singapore, among others, will feature a dedicated website with all essential information, a reloadable EMV (Europay, MasterCard and Visa )-capable card, and to complete the tourist experience, a mobile app for booking tours, making cashless payments, GPS networked-bus arrival monitoring and video guides, as well as information on hotels, food, and tourism merchants.
In 2022, the DOT recorded 5.3 million overnight tourists in the NCR, with Makati City ranking third out of 17 local government units with the highest number of overnight arrivals at 969,927 visitors, next only to the cities of Pasay and Parañaque.
Meanwhile, preparations are already underway for the launch of the Philippines HOHO project in the cultural hub of Manila.
Both the Makati and Manila hubs will become fully operational after the grand launch in June. (PNA)