Makati City Skyline at night. Manila, Philippines.

DOT launches first Philippine hop-on, hop-off tours in Makati

Next HOHO bus tour to be launched is Manila in June.

The Philippines’ hop-on hop-off tours will now provide tourists with convenience and flexibility on when and how they will tour a destination through a seamless, contactless transport and tour booking system.

Tourism Secretary Christina Garcia Frasco noted that the bus tour’s pilot launch in Makati marks an exciting time for the tourism industry, as the DOT aims to bring the project to other key destinations around the Philippines.

“Post-pandemic trends of travel have continued to evolve. People are searching for experiences that go beyond adventure and fun. They are searching for meaning. And that is why the Hop-On Hop-Off tours give opportunities for 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 that will allow our tourists—domestic and international alike—to get to know the people of Makati, to get to know your rich history, culture, and heritage,“ Secretary Frasco said.

DOT tours in Makati Ayala Museum
Ayala Museum, Makati.

“This is an effort that we wish to replicate in all the other areas in Metro Manila [and the Philippines] and this is just the beginning,” she added, as she lauded the City of Makati, the DOT’s National Capital Region (NCR) Office, together with private and public tourism stakeholders in Metro Manila for their collective effort to make the project possible.

Upon full implementation of the Philippines Hop-On Hop-Off in Makati, tourists can take the bus in designated stops within the city to enjoy its best spots and activities following suggested itineraries curated by the DOT-NCR team per stop, with the option to avail of private and guided tours. The HOHO tour will cost around P1,000 per person.

The tour took guests to the Washington SyCip Park for an interactive demo by artists, Ayala Malls Circuit for Filipino snacks, Museo ng Makati for coffee culture presentation, and ended in Poblacion with a street party.

The project takes inspiration from world-class hop-on hop-off buses in cities such as Abu Dhabi, Argentina, London, Madrid, New York, Singapore, among others. It will have a dedicated website with all essential information, a reloadable EMV-capable card, and to complete the tourist experience, a mobile app for booking tours, making cashless payments, GPS networked-bus arrival monitoring and video guides, as well as information on hotels, food, and tourism merchants.

For the purpose of giving a preview of the Makati hub, the tour started at Glorietta where Secretary Frasco, and government and private sector officials led the ribbon-cutting and ceremonial toast.

DOT tours to Intramuros Manila
Intramuros, Manila.

The tour took guests to the Washington SyCip Park for an interactive demo by artists, followed by a quick stop at Ayala Malls Circuit for Filipino snacks, Museo ng Makati for coffee culture presentation, museum tour, and entertainment by Makati performers. The tour ended in Poblacion with a street party featuring performances by local artists and culinary treats from Makati’s top-rated restaurants and bars.

In 2022, the DOT recorded 5.3 million overnight tourists in NCR, with Makati City ranking third out of 17 LGUs with the highest number of overnight arrivals at 969,927 visitors, after Pasay and Parañaque which took the first and second spots, respectively.

Meanwhile, preparations are already underway for the launch of the Philippines HOHO project in the cultural hub of Manila next. Both the Makati and Manila hubs of the Philippines Hop-On Hop-Off program will become fully operational after the grand launch slated in June.

The new lifestyle.