Tourism first aid facilities, layover tours soon in PH – DOT

The first ever Philippine hop-on hop-off bus tours was launched by the Department of Tourism in May last year. DOT PHOTO
The first ever Philippine hop-on hop-off bus tours was launched by the Department of Tourism in May last year. DOT PHOTO

TOURISTS will soon see the establishment of a “tourism first aid facility” across major destinations in the country, the Department of Tourism (DOT) said.

At the Kapihan sa Bagong Pilipinas on Tuesday, July 9, DOT National Capital Region director Sharlene Zabala-Batin said this is among the many initiatives the agency is working to launch soon and would be a “first” in the country’s “tourism history”.

“Another first in our country’s tourism history, the establishment of our first aid facilities (will) ensure safety and well-being of tourists in every tourist destination in the Philippines,” she said.

On top of this, Zabala-Batin said the DOT is also working with local governments to draft a tourism disaster risk reduction management operations manual.

In a previous interview, DOT Region 1 director Jeff Ortega said La Union would be among the first sites for the new first aid facility, which would be complete with defibrillator and other essential equipment.

Layover tours

Another program the agency is eyeing to rollout this year is the “layover tours” for travelers transiting through the Ninoy Aquino International Airport.

Zabala-Batin said the DOT has conducted a benchmarking activity two weeks ago at the Incheon and Changi Airports in South Korea and Singapore, respectively.

“We went to these two major airports to see how they do their transit tours and we’re happy to announce that we’re launching it soon,” she said.

Among those who joined the activity were representatives from the Department of Foreign Affairs, Bureau of Customs, Bureau of Immigration, Philippine National Police, and the DOT.

The upcoming tourism program is expected to feature the newly-launched Hop-on Hop-off (HOHO) Pasay-Parañaque, also known as the Entertainment Hub route.

Meanwhile, Zabala-Batin said the DOT also hopes to launch this year or in 2025 three more HOHO hubs to cover destinations in Taguig, Quezon City, Pasig, San Juan and Mandaluyong.

Since its inception in 2023, the DOT’s HOHO program has booked about 2,000 foreign and local passengers.

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.

Bookings can be made through Klook or the HOHO’s website and mobile application. (Philippine News Agency)


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