Hop-on, hop-off bus scheme for tourists to be launched


THE Department of Tourism (DOT) is finalizing an initiative for a hop-on, hop-off bus program that will take tourists around significant destinations in Metro Manila.

In a presentation at the recent general membership meeting of the Philippine Tour Operators Association (Philtoa), DOT-National Capital Region Director Sharlene Batin said the Metro Manila Hop-on, Hop-off (Hoho) program was inspired by similar tourism bus projects in London, New York, Madrid, Abu Dhabi, Singapore, and Argentina. She added the project will be pilot-tested in Manila and Makati, but will be subsequently rolled to other hubs such as Ortigas, Katipunan, Fort Bonifacio, and Pasay/Parañaque.

She explained, among the objectives for the project are to “encourage tourism recovery for the NCR; provide tourists an option for quick, do-it-yourself tours with seamless and contactless travel system; showcase the Metro Manila experience through a world-class tour program, and allow local group travelers and Frequent Individual Travelers
[FIT] the freedom to choose where and how they will tour within Metro Manila.”

The Hoho program will be launched “within the first quarter when all the elements and content are in place,” she added.

For her part, Philtoa President Fe Abling-Yu told the BusinessMirror her group has expressed support for the program. “We will help them in any way we can, like if we are asked to validate the tours,” she said.

Initial routes

For instance, in Makati, the Hoho bus will take tourists from Glorietta 2, then on to the Washington Sycip Park in Legazpi Village, pass the RCBC Plaza/Yuchengco Tower, go to Circuit Makati, Century City, with other stops at the Museo ng Makati, Rockwell Center, Ayala Triangle, and end at the Glorietta 4 Park.

In Manila, the tour  begins at the CCP complex, travel along Roxas Boulevard to the Rajah Sulayman Park in Malate, then on to Pedro Gil St. to Robinsons Manila in Ermita, with other stops at the Rizal Park, National Museum, Manila City Hall, cross to Escolta via Jones Bridge, stop at Binondo/Chinatown, then in  Intramuros.