The historic Walled City of Intramuros has beaten other world-class landmarks like India’s Taj Mahal and the Great Wall of China as Asia’s leading tourist attraction in the 2020 World Travel Awards.
Trailing behind Intramuros in this year’s awards are the Angkor Temples in Cambodia, the Borobudur Temple Compounds in Indonesia, the Ha Long Bay in Vietnam, the Sengan-en and Shoko Shuseikan Museum in Japan, the Victoria Peak in Hong Kong, the Tokyo Imperial Palace in Japan, and the Terracotta Warriors and The Forbidden City in China.
This is the second time Intramuros won the title having bagged the award in 2016. The walled city has not only maintained its grandeur but now also features several improvements which obviously contributed to its new honors won this year.
From 2017 to 2019, the Omtramuros Administration (IA) strived to revitalize its pocket parks and plazas, such as the Plaza Sto. Tomas, Plaza Roma, President’s Gallery, Juan Luna Monument, Legazpi Monument, Plazuela de Sta. Isabel, Plaza de España, Gomburza Monument, and Plaza de Armaz.
Plaza Sto. Tomas used to be the hive of vendors. Now it is pleasantly orderly. The vendors are still there but they are properly organized, and the plaza is well lit and secured.
IA said it now invests efforts to renew and establish old and new attractions in Intramuros for tourists, including the beautified historic Fort Santiago and the reopened Museo de Intramuros.
Fort Santiago was reconstructed in phases starting 2011 and was completed in April 2019, after decades of neglect. The Museo de Intramuros inside the old San Ignacio Church, offers ecclesiastical insights for museum visitors stretching back to the early Christianization of the Philippines.
IA Administrator Guiller Asido said they want tourists and local businesses to look at Intramuros and imagine a “vibrant future not limited to cobblestones and old churches but an old city breathing a brand new life.”
Considering that Metro Manila remains under general community quarantine (GCQ). IA said it has adopted a “SafePass system” and further recalibrated its existing sites to comply with the health and safety protocols.