Manila, being the premier city, is the main embarkation point of tourists and visitors. Major tourism offices, attractions and accommodations facilities are located in the city. Varied tourist destinations that caters to local as well as foreign visitors abounds in the city both of natural and man-made attractions. There are also luxury hotels, standard and economy class motels, pensions and inns that are always ready to welcome these guests. Figures from the Department of Tourism show that tourist arrivals in the Philippines for the period January to October 1993 surpassed the millionth mark with an aggregate total of 1,050,867 tourists. This represents an 18.38% increase over last year’s recorded volume of 8872834 tourist for the same period. Based on these statistics. It may be concluded that many of these tourists visited Manila because of the city’s unique tourist-attracting character.
The City offers many places of interest to tourists. The Rizal Park Complex features miniture Chinese and Japanese gardens. The park is also the ideal place to view the spectacular and internationally re-knowned Manila Bay sunset. Aside from Rizal Park, there are also places of historical and religious significance such as the San Agustin church, Manila Cathedral, Fort Santiago and the old Walls of Intramuros.
The area defined as the “tourist belt” is very near the park. Apolinario Mabini street is famous for its art galleries and handicraft stores. Along Roxas Boulevard are located most of the first class hotels, coffee shops, nightclubs, specialty restaurants and bars.
To service both the foreign and local tourists in Manila are twenty-five (25) hotels (out of 36 in Metro Manila) classified as De Luxe, First Class, Standard and Economy. On the other hand, the cultural influence of Manila can be gleaned from the data of the Department of Tourism showing that twelve (12) out of sixteen (16) museums and seven (7) out of ten (10) theaters are located in the City of Manila.
The promotion of tourism should be closely coordinated and integrated with the city’s beautification/greening program and park’s development. Parks, museums, theaters, recreational facilities and exhibition centers catering to the needs of local residents are also generally the places that entertain and attract foreign tourists.