City eyes use of “Hop-on, Hop-off” tourist buses for visitors

BAGUIO CITY – (26 March 2021) – The colorful tourist buses seen in many cities around the world ferrying visitors to popular sites will soon welcome its local counterparts in the Summer Capital.

This was disclosed by city tourism officer Engr. Aloysius Mapalo in Tuesday’s regular management committee meeting of city officials at Baguio Convention Center and in a media forum, Wednesday, at City Hall.

Called Hop-on, Hop-off tourist buses or “Ho-Hos”, he said the city will utilize the two buses earlier donated to the city government by local transportation firms for the tourism project.

 The plan to turn these donated buses into Ho-ho ferries  to primarily serve tourists  was hatched even before the coronavirus-2019 pandemic struck, Mapalo said.

“Even now that we are in the midst of the pandemic, the city is looking into implementing the project little by little,” he said.

 The idea is, Mapalo said, the city will issue Ho-Ho tickets  to tourists on each of their  visit that will grant them unlimited rides in the Ho-Ho buses.

With the Baguio Convention Center as the staging and  starting point, the planned Ho-Ho circuit will have the Botanical Garden as its first stop; the Mansion, second; Mines View Park, third; Wright Park  and its environs, fourth; then end at the Gov. Pack Road area where a walking tour of the central business district including Session Road, Cathedral, Burnham Park will ensue.

The buses will then return to the Baguio Convention Center to pick-up a new batch of visitors, Mapalo said.

Each stop will last around 20 minutes where tourists can choose to stay longer if they want more time to roam around the area and wait for the next scheduled Ho-Ho bus to hop-on to.  The entire circuit is estimated to last about an hour and thirty minutes.

Mapalo said the project concept proposed before the pandemic was P100 per unlimited ticket for tourists with a discounted rate of P80 for senior citizens and students.

A test run will be conducted before the project can be fully implemented probably before the city is able to allow a lot more tourists to visit in the coming weeks or months, he added.

Meantime, maintenance procedures of the two buses will already start to make sure these are in the best running condition and will be decorated to look like tourist buses, Mapalo said.-Gaby B. Keith