MANILA now tops the list of cities in the country that are being visited by travelling Filipinos, according to an international booking website.
Mayor Isko Moreno yesterday welcomed the yearend statistics released by Singapore-based Agoda, saying the findings is a clear validation that the joint efforts being exerted by the city government, city employes, barangays and even residents, for a clean and orderly Manila are now beginning to pay off.
‘We are starting to reap the fruits of our efforts. We must now focus on maintaining what we have begun. Nananawagan ako sa lahat na patuloy na makipagtulungan para sa isang malinis at maayos na kapaligiran. Mas maaliwalas ang lungsod, mas madami ang turista. Mas malakas ang turismo, mas madaming trabaho at progreso,’ Moreno said.
The mayor said he appreciates the positive findings and that it will definitely inspire him to do more for the city of Manila.
Agoda released data saying that from January to November 2018, the Philippines was the most visited country by Filipinos, followed only by our Asian neighbors Japan and Hong Kong. It said Filipino travelers chose to travel to the Philippines instead of trotting the world.
‘Philippine cities dominated the 10 most visited cities by Filipinos, with Manila topping the list, followed by Cebu, Palawan, Hong Kong, Baguio, Bohol, Davao, Tagaytay, Singapore and Tokyo,’ the report said.
Since Moreno assumed mayorship six months ago, Manila has earned attention here and abroad due to the countless positive changes he had initiated, a lot of which centered on cleanliness drive, restoration of historical sites, anti-corruption drive and illumination of major areas which have become crime-prone during the past few years because they were dark.
Most prominent among these is the rehabilitation of the Bonifacio Shrine into a clean, bright and beautiful promenade. It used to be home to vagrants and illegal vendors who have left the area with feces, urine and trash.
The historical Jones Bridge was also rehabilitated so that it is now a destination for photo shoots while major roads and thoroughfares that used to be dominated by vendors are now cleared.
Among world travelers, Japan, Thailand, and Malaysia topped the top three Asian countries most visited this year, while UK, Italy, and France were the top three European countries, the report added.
Agoda is a global online travel agency for hotels, vacation rentals, flights and airport transfer. Its company is headquartered in Singapore.
In 2007, Agoda was acquired by USA-based Booking Holdings. Agoda’s retail website provides a multilingual metasearch engine with aggregated fares for booking airline tickets, hotels and individually-hosted holiday rentals.