Makati, DOT launch bus tours to promote city's heritage sites, lifestyle hubs

Job Manahan, ABS-CBN News

Posted at May 30 2023 08:13 AM

Department of Tourism handout
Department of Tourism handout

MANILA — The local government of Makati and the Department of Tourism have launched its first-ever "Hop On, Hop Off" (HOHO) bus tour, which is geared to promote the city's heritage sites, museums, and lifestyle areas. 

In a statement on Monday, the Makati local government said DOT picked the city as its pilot site for the agency's tourism recovery program which would also, in turn, promote the capital region through a "modern bus system."

The HOHO mobile application, which helps tourists book tours, "offers seamless and contactless travel options, allowing tourists to explore strategic hubs easily."

They will have a GPS networked-bus arrival monitoring, video guides information on hotels, tourism sites, food, and a reloadable card for the tour. 

"Makati City boasts a rich tapestry of history, art, and natural beauty that deserves to be celebrated," said Makati Mayor Abby Binay in a statement. 

"With the launch of the HOHO bus tour, we aim to bring this exceptional experience to the forefront, allowing visitors to immerse themselves in our city's unique heritage and experience the diverse offerings that Makati has to offer," Binay added. 

"We are opening doors to a new era of tourism."

The bus tour is available from Wednesday to Friday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. and will have 8 stops: Glorietta 2, Washington SyCip Park, RCBC Plaza, Circuit Makati, Century City, Museo ng Makati, Rockwell Center, and Ayala Triangle. 

This may cost around P1,000, the tourism department said, with tourists having the option of availing of a private or guided bus tour. 

Makati residents and city hall employees that have Makatizen Cards could get a 40 percent discount when they book tours, the local government said. 

During the launch on Sunday, officials from Makati and the Department of Tourism went first at the Washington Sycip Park for an interactive demonstration by artists and health drinks and ended in Poblacion, a drinking hub in the city, for a street party. 

For its part, the Department of Tourism said they plan to replicate this bus system to other Metro Manila cities. Tourism Secretary Christina Frasco said they were eyeing to launch this in Manila next. 

The agency said the project took inspiration from world-class hop-on hop-off buses in Abu Dhabi, Argentina, London, Madrid, New York, Singapore. 

"The Hop-On Hop-Off tours gives 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," said Frasco. 

The city bus tour program will have a grand launch in June this year. 

In 2022, the DOT said it recorded 5.3 million overnight tourists in Metro Manila.

President Ferdinand Marcos, Jr. just this month approved a 5-year plan to give the Philippines a "fighting chance" to become a "tourism powerhouse," said Frasco. 


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