DOT draws up master plan to improve Manila Bay

Posted at 04/03/14 12:00 PM


MANILA, Philippines - Some of the country's famous tourist attractions are set to get a face-lift, in a bid to improve the country's reputation as a prime tourist destination in southeast Asia.

The sunset in Manila Bay has been called one of the most beautiful in the world, but visitors say a lot still needs to be done to improve the tourist spot.

Robert Sickells, an Australian tourist, says there should be a shaded area to allow tourists to enjoy the view without getting burned under the sun.

"Maybe some shaded areas, like today it's particularly hot and no shade," he said.

Marlon de Guzman, a local tourist, says the area should be cleaned up.

Other tourists lamented the lack of toilets and facilities in the area.

The Department of Tourism says it is now executing a master plan to improve not just Manila Bay but the country's other tourist spots as well.

The agency will focus on the city of Manila first.

"75 percent ng lahat ng mga turistang pumupunta sa Pilipinas ay pumapasok ng Maynila. So Manila represents the face of the Philippines," Tourism Assistant Secretary Benito Bengzon said.

The DOT will be prioritizing the improvement of Roxas Boulevard.

"We want to make it a world-class boulevard na talagang ipagmamalaki ng mga Pilipino at pagdumating ang mga turista, talagang gugustuhin nila at tatanungin nila: 'Where is this Roxas Boulevard that I have heard about'," he said.

Work will also begin on tourist spots in Cebu, as well as those damaged by super typhoon "Yolanda."

The plan also includes upgrading the country's airports and seaports.

The DOT admits it will not be easy but the agency is determined to raise the country's profile as a prime tourist destination in Southeast Asia.

The DOT is targeting 10 million international tourists and 45 million domestic tourists by the end of 2016. - from a report by Jasmin Romero, ABS-CBN News