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Eight tourism hubs in Manila to level up for local and foreign tourists

Manila's tourism chief Charlie Dungo
Mayor Honey Lacuna, Vice Mayor Yul Servo and (right) Manila's tourism chief Charlie Dungo after discussing the tourism plans for Manila. (JERRY S. TAN)

MAYOR Honey Lacuna said that as a premiere destination of the country, the city of Manila will now have eight tourism hubs whose attractions will be levelled up in order to provide meaningful ‘travel memories’ for visiting tourists, both local and international.

Lacuna said that based on the plan as contained in the first Manila Tourism and Cultural Development Plan (MTCDP) as presented by the city’s tourism chief Charlie Dungo, the said tourism hubs were identified as follows: Tondo; Binondo, Escolta, and San Nicolas; Santa Cruz; Quiapo and San Miguel; Sampaloc and Santa Mesa; Intramuros and Port Area; Ermita, Malate and Paco; and Pandacan and Santa Ana.

“May heritage, events, shopping at food trails na ating pangangalagaan at pagyayamanin para balik-balikan ng mga turista. May walong travel loops na idinisenyo base sa oras at interes ng bisita. Idinetalye sa plano kung papaano magiging innovative and world-class tourist destination ang ating lungsod, magmula sa paglilinis at pagpapaganda ng mga parks and plazas, shopping and dining areas; promotion ng mga museums, entertainment areas; pagsasaayos ng transportasyon at trapiko; hanggang sa pagpapanatili ng seguridad at kaayusan sa bawat tourism hub,” Lacuna said.

The lady mayor said necessary training will also be conducted in order to level up or improve the services being provided by tourism-related establishments and cultural sites, as well as tour guides.

“Kasama sa plano ang pagkakaroon ng training on food handling and packaging para sa mga food establishments tulad ng mga street food vendors… ang mga programa, proyekto at aktibidades na nasa plano ay para sa lahat ng sektor ng lipunan, maging iba man ang paniniwalang kultural, kasarian, pinag-aralan at uri ng kabuhayan, proteksyunan ang mga deklaradong cultural properties at saliksikin ang ibang mahalagang cultural properties para madeklara at maproteksyunan sa banta ng climate change at iba pang pagsubok para sa kapakinabangan ng henerasyong kasalukuyan at panghinaharap. Nakasaad rin sa plano ang mga istratehiya, polisiya, time frame at budget sa bawat programa at proyekto,” Lacuna added.

She cited the role that would be played by national government agencies like the departments of tourism, public works and environment as well as by the private sector including tourism-related establishments, tour operators and hotels, barangay, civil society organizations, heritage advocacy groups, cultural and religious groups, the academe, mass media and social media to realize the plans as laid out by Dungo.

Lacuna also commended the active participation and strong support of the stakeholders including the communities during the planning process and enjoined them to stay solidly behind the city government to ensure the success of the said programs, projects and vision.

For his part, Dungo said that the MTCDP, which was crafted with the local stakeholders to revive, protect and promote Manila’s rich culture and heritage, is the first of its kind in Manila, adding that the city is among the first, if not actually the first local government unit in the country to provide the said kind of details in the tourism and cultural development plan.

“It was formulated to create inclusive and sustainable business and employment opportunities for Manileños and generate additional local revenues to fund meaningful development programs,” he said.

According to Dungo, the MTCDP showcases the best of Manila through the eight priority programs, eight trails, and eight loops within the eight tourism hubs; combines culture and heritage conservation with innovations in tourism services such as tourist-oriented e-vehicles, digital tours and mobile and web-based applications for booking, navigation and other services; features concrete strategies and measures to jumpstart the local tourism industry after the COVID-19 pandemic; and provides recommendations on how our local tourism industry can become resilient to disasters and health-related emergencies.

Itchie G. Cabayan
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