Aerial view of Intramuros in Manila (Intramuros Administration photo)

MANILA — Visitors in Intramuros have been increasing despite the expected slowdown on arrivals due to the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) outbreak.

"(For Intramuros), the numbers are increasing due to promotions and the opening of new sites. Surprisingly, we were not that affected (by the impact of Covid-19). We shifted focus on domestic tourism," Intramuros Administration chief Guiller Asido told the Philippine News Agency (PNA) during the opening of Allies for Freedom exhibit at the American Barracks inside the so-called Walled City on Tuesday night.

In Fort Santiago alone, he said the foot traffic reached 10,000 daily last month compared to the 400 to 500 visitors in the same period in 2019.

"Right now we're averaging 10,000 to 12,000 a day. Actually, it increased by more than a hundred percent, before, we were averaging around 400 to 500," he said.

Intramuros last year has attracted a total of 3.7 million visitors, according to Asido, figure that the IA "expects to exceed" by the end of 2020.

The IA has launched several initiatives in 2019 to boost the number of its visitors, from partnering with Manila Hotel for exclusive tours as well as putting up technologies to attract the younger generation inside the destination.

Recently, it introduced an augmented reality app that allows users to indulge in a 3D experience inside the Walled City.

Intramuros has also positioned itself as a prime Lenten destination within Metro Manila when it opened nine historical churches and chapels for pilgrims last year. (PNA)