The Philippine government is planning to introduce a “layover tour” program for local and foreign tourists transiting through the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA), Tourism Secretary Christina Frasco announced Thursday.
Frasco said the Department of Tourism (DOT) is in talks with relevant agencies, including airport authorities to push the launch as early as the second quarter of 2024.
“For the very first time, mayroon tayong, in the works na ngayon, na layover tours para sa ating mga layover or transit passengers (we have, in the works already, layover tours for our layover or transit passengers),” she said in an interview.
“Imagine, just having a few hours but being able to get to know the Philippines through our Philippine Hop-on Hop-off (HOHO) bus tours,” she added.
The Tourism chief said government agencies are currently negotiating the technicalities of the program, including the process for tourists who will temporarily exit the airport gates for side Manila trips.
“We’re very hopeful na isa na naman ito sa mga innovations na ma-introduce natin para mabigyan ang Pilipinas ng added competitive edge to become Asia’s tourism powerhouse (that this will be another innovative program to give the Philippines an added competitive edge to become Asia’s tourism powerhouse),” she said.
The upcoming tourism program is expected to feature the newly-launched HOHO Pasay-Paranaque, also known as the Entertainment Hub Route.
The DOT rolled out the HOHO Pasay-Paranaque Route on Thursday, which features 13 bus stops to highlight the various “entertainment hotspots” in the two cities.
This is the third of its kind following the HOHO Business and Cultural Hubs launch in Makati and Manila last year.
“While these cities boast historical landmarks and commercial districts, their emergence as entertainment hubs has been a defining feature that attracts locals and tourists alike,” the DOT said.
“Further, their fusion of contemporary entertainment complexes, vibrant nightlife makes them integral pillars in shaping Manila’s entertainment landscape,” it added.
The 13 designated bus stops in Pasay and Paranaque are as follow:
- Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) Terminals 1, 2, and 3
- Newport World Resorts
- City of Dreams
- Ayala Malls Manila Bay
- Okada Manila
- Solaire Resort
- Luxe Duty Free
- MOA Main Stop
- SMX Convention Center
- MOA Seaside
Both local and foreign tourists in the country may already avail of the new HOHO tour through a mobile application developed for HOHO, where they can book their tour, either guided or do-it-yourself (DIY).
The HOHO app can be downloaded in both the App Store and Google Play Store.
At least three more HOHO hubs are slated to be launched in 2024, namely the Heart Hub (San Juan, Pasig and Mandaluyong), the Lifestyle Hub (Taguig – The Bonifacio Global City), and the Mind Hub that focuses on popular educational institutions located in Quezon City.
The Philippines Hop-On-Hop-Off Travel by the Hubs operates through designated hubs, where tourists have the freedom to choose their preferred destination and duration of stay. (PNA)