By Erma Edera
Department of Tourism (DOT) Secretary Bernadette Romulo-Puyat has vowed to help the City of Manila improve its tourism industry as she commended the initiatives of Mayor Francisco “Isko Moreno” Domagoso in cleaning the nation’s capital.
“For us, in any way that we can help the mayor, we are ready to extend help,” the Tourism chief said during an ocular inspection of Manila’s “tourism circuit” on Tuesday.
“Mayor Moreno is for heritage tourism, maintaining the old-buildings, and having a clean city. Indeed, we can have sustainable tourism in the city,” she said.
The Tourism chief and Manila Mayor Isko Moreno rode iconic bamboo bikes to inspect the Bonifacio Shrine, Plaza Roma in Intramuros, and Rizal Monument in Luneta.
Puyat said she there is a potential of increasing arrivals in Manila because it serves as a “drop-off point” to a number of foreign and local tourists.
“With the help of the Mayor, we toured around Manila, and I’m impressed, it’s very clean now. Tourists can visit more places now,” she said.
Based on data released by the DOT’s Statistics, Economic Analysis and Information Management Division, a total of 4,839,593 international tourists arrived via Manila’s air and seaports in 2018 alone.
Romulo-Puyat said DOT attached agencies such as the Intramuros Administration will also help address the problem of informal settlers and developing a hub for the creative industry inside the walled city.
The National Parks Development Committee, along with Tourism Infrastructure and Enterprise Zone Authority (TIEZA), will also lead in the redevelopment of Rizal Park, particularly the Esplanade and the Children’s Playground.