Tourism Secretary Christina Garcia Frasco unveiled the Department of Tourism’s (DOT) first-ever hop-on, hop-off (HOHO) bus tour program, the Philippines HOHO, in Manila on 6th July. This tour will showcase Manila’s “Cultural Hub,” extending to Makati’s “Financial Hub” which was launched on 28th May.
Frasco emphasized that the program aligns with the President’s vision of a competitive tourism industry, introducing digitalization with features like an app for tour booking and curated experiences. She also stressed the need to adapt to changing travel trends and provide immersive experiences for tourists.
The new bus tours aim to reintroduce Manila to Filipinos and foreign tourists alike, offering a seamless and contactless way to experience the city’s culture, arts, and history. The Cultural Hub tour includes nine stops such as Robinsons Manila, Raja Sulayman, Rizal Park Luneta, National Museum, Malacañang Heritage Tours-City Hall, Escolta, Binondo, and Intramuros.
Manila Mayor Honey Lacuna reiterated the importance of cultural tourism and stated that this program enhances urban mobility and exploration. DOT’s National Capital Region Director Sharlene Z. Batin detailed that tourists can choose from curated or DIY itineraries, with an introductory price of Php1,000 per person.
The Philippines HOHO includes a dedicated website, a reloadable EMV-capable card, and a mobile app for bookings, cashless payments, bus arrival monitoring, and video guides. The City of Manila and tourism stakeholder associations also signed a commitment certificate to further promote the initiative.
Last year, the National Capital Region recorded 5.3 million overnight tourists, with Manila at 710,275 arrivals and Makati City at 969,927. Manila also led in same-day arrivals with 7.4 million.