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Frasco leads the launch of the Pasay-Paranaque route of the Philippines Hop-On-Hop-Off Travel by the Hubs, connecting it to Manila’s Culture Hub and Makati’s Business Hub.

Pasay City—The first-ever Philippines Hop-On-Hop-Off (HOHO) Bus Tours has a new itinerary in its route, as Department of Tourism (DOT) Secretary Christina Garcia Frasco on Thursday (Feb. 08) formally unveiled the third and latest stop of the Philippines Hop-On-Hop-Off (HOHO), the Entertainment Hub.

“As we launch the Hop-On-Hop-Off tours in the Pasay-Paranaque circuit, we will be reinforcing this area’s position as a leading destination for visitors,” the Tourism Chief said at the inauguration held at the SM Mall of Asia Music Hall, citing the unique experience that the Entertainment Hub will offer being host to an interesting blend of modern-day premier recreational facilities, and cultural and historical landmarks.

Speaking before guests composed of national and local government representatives, tourism industry stakeholders, and media, Secretary Frasco said this much-anticipated launch of the Hop-On-Hop-Off in the premier cities of Pasay and Paranaque “is another addition to the already diverse tourism product offerings in the National Capital Region, and in the entire country.”

“The Hop-On-Hop-Off Tours have successfully promoted our heritage sites, museums, and lifestyle centers in the metropolis, and the entertainment spots, heralding our stories as a people,” she added, calling the initiative part of the strategies under the National Tourism Development Plan.

Traversing the cities of Pasay and Paranaque, HOHO will now bring tourists into these entertainment hotspots that boast a blend of modern entertainment complexes, vibrant nightlife, and historical and cultural landmarks. Emerging as a hub for entertainment, these neighboring cities have attracted locals and tourists alike.

The Entertainment Hub features 13 designated bus stops at Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) Terminals 1, 2, and 3, Newport World Resorts, City of Dreams, Ayala Malls Manila Bay, Parqal, Okada Manila, Solaire Resort, Luxe Duty Free, MOA Main Stop, SMX Convention Center, and MOA Seaside.

Meanwhile, SM Supermalls President Steven Tan laid out the red carpet for the guests at the Music Hall of the SM Mall of Asia. He said, “We are proud to be part of this venture. This represents a groundbreaking approach in tourism, giving tourists the freedom to explore the city at their own pace,” calling it a milestone in the public-private partnership.

The inaugural launch of the HOHO Entertainment Hub brought guests to a curated tour itinerary highlighting premier destinations at the Mall of Asia, Luxe Duty Free, Newport World Resorts, City of Dreams, Ayala Malls Manila Bay, and Okada Manila, where pocket performances and walk through gave a glimpse to their offerings.

The HOHO digital experience

The Secretary also spoke about HOHO’s foray into digitalizing tours as a huge step forward to the country’s desire to boost the ease of doing business and travel.

“In adopting and applying new technologies, we continue to ensure the competitiveness of the Philippines in the global tourism realm, while providing travelers with cost-efficient, smart, and a digital environment for tourism,” she emphasized, referring to the Hop-On-Hop-Off Tours being in line with one of the DOT’s 7-point agenda for Cohesive and Comprehensive Digitalization and Connectivity.

Secretary Frasco pointed out the use of digital technology as among the goals under the NTDP, which she said “is being met in part by our Hop-On Hop-Off Tours, allowing tourists to travel at their own convenience by curating their experience through an online booking app.”

To elevate the HOHO experience is a mobile application developed for the tour where they can book their own itinerary, either guided or do-it-yourself (DIY). The mobile app gives tourists the opportunity to explore nearby attractions at their leisure, as well as check the schedule of the departing bus in various HOHO stops in real-time. The HOHO app can be downloaded anytime, anywhere in both App Store and Google Play Store.

The HOHO mobile app is a tourism tech solution that allows tourists to explore Metro Manila and to navigate key locations across the region using a tourist-friendly mobile platform. It will showcase Metro Manila destinations and attractions. It is integrated with an end-to-end e-commerce solution and payment gateways.

The next HOHO stops, Layover Tours

The Entertainment Hub will connect to the Business Hub of Makati and Cultural Hub of Manila, launched respectively last May 28, 2023 and July 06, 2023. The Makati route plies around seven stops that start from Glorietta 2 to Washington Sycip Park, RCBC Plaza, Circuit Makati, Century City, Museo ng Makati, and Ayala Triangle. Meanwhile, the Manila route features nine stops traversing Robinsons Manila, Rajah Sulayman, Rizal Park, Luneta, National Museum, City Hall, Escolta, Binondo, Intramuros.

Additionally, the Philippines HOHO has a special by-appointment-only route in Malacañang showcasing Bahay Ugnayan and Teus Mansion, which are now accessible as heritage museums.

This 2024, the DOT will launch the remaining three (3) HOHO hubs composed of the Heart Hub that includes the vibrant cities of San Juan, Pasig, and Mandaluyong; the Lifestyle Hub featuring the highly urbanized business and commercial district of the City of Taguig – The Bonifacio Global City, and the Mind Hub that focuses on prestigious educational institutions located in Quezon City.

Secretary Frasco likewise revealed that the HOHO Entertainment Hub launch marks the inception of the country’s Layover tours for international transit passengers that is scheduled to be launched in the second quarter of 2024. “The Layover Tours is poised to become another gateway to unforgettable experiences that will capture the essence of Filipino hospitality and creativity. This translates to more opportunities to show a glimpse of the Philippines and increase livelihood and income for more Filipinos,” the Tourism Chief bared, targeting travelers on connecting flights with several hours to spare.

“These are just among the many exciting things we can look forward to in the Philippine tourism industry for 2024 as we have already launched a host of different innovations such as the Tourist Assistance Call Center, Tourist Rest Areas, we shall continue building the momentum we have gained in 2023, wherein, under the full support of President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr., the resilient spirit of the Filipino people, and the collaborative efforts of our tourism stakeholders, we achieved a remarkable milestone of surpassing our targeted 4.8 million tourists in 2023 by logging in a total of 5,450,557 international arrivals and bringing in P482.54 billion international visitor receipts,” Secretary Frasco quipped with an ambitious goal of 7.7 million international arrivals.

It All Starts Here

Meanwhile, according to DOT-NCR Regional Director Sharlene Batin, the Philippines Hop-On-Hop-Off Travel by the Hubs is “a milestone in our journey to elevate the tourism experience in the National Capital Region.” She said HOHO provides tourists with flexible and convenient transportation options to explore different tourist attractions within select cities of Metro Manila.

The Regional Director added that HOHO is part of the digitalization initiatives for the NCR which now comes with an image bank catalog, she said, “is envisioned to allow travelers to visualize themselves in a destination, creating a sense of anticipation and excitement,” encapsulating the region’s latest branding campaign “It All Starts Here,” which shall position “Metro Manila is not just a gateway or a transit point but in fact it is the ultimate tourism experience starter for wherever they want to go or whatever they want to do in the Philippines.”

“These initiatives underscore our commitment to promoting all destinations within the region and enhancing the tourism experience through innovative digital solutions, as our humble contribution to our President Ferdinand R. Marcos, Jr. and Tourism Chief Secretary Christina Garcia Frasco’s vision of reintroducing the New Philippines into the world as a tourism powerhouse,” Batin concluded.



Department of Tourism Secretary Christina Garcia Frasco with SM Supermalls President Steven Tan and other officials during the inauguration of the HOHO Pasay-Parañaque Route known as the Entertainment Hub at SM Mall of Asia Music Hall

The second stop of the curated HOHO tour itinerary at Luxe Duty Free

The third stop of the curated HOHO tour itinerary at the Newport World Resorts

The fourth stop of the curated HOHO tour itinerary at the City of Dreams Manila

The fifth stop of the curated HOHO tour itinerary at the Ayala Malls Manila Bay with a tour around Food Wanderer x Lakbay Museo

The last stop of the curated HOHO tour itinerary ended at Okada, Manila

Published:February 9, 2024

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