Philippines aims for greater air access for tourists

Published on : Wednesday, February 22, 2017

philippinesThe government of Philippines seeks to improve and work on its air access into the country to give a boost to its international tourism thereby increasing its business activities, according to a leading tourism official.


Benito Bengzon Jr, undersecretary of the Department of Tourism (DoT) said that Philippines is an archipelago of 7,100 islands that do not enjoy cross-border passage similar to their neighbors.


Therefore, it is obviously necessary to ensure that it makes way for improved global access to ease the entry of tourists into the nation.


It was observed in the forum that in the year 2016 the tourist arrivals in the region had reached 5.97 million. Thailand had received 32.59 visitors, followed by Malaysia that saw about 26.52 million. Singapore had welcomed 16.4 million, Indonesia 11.28 million, Vietnam 10 million. And, the arrivals in Middle East had risen by 72,288.


Bengzon said that without the border-crossing travels as those that were present in Indo-China, we require more direct flights to tourist destinations based in different portions of the country.


Of late, new air routes have opened to secondary gateways and increased the frequencies of flights by local and foreign carriers.


This has, led to a continuous increase in tourist arrivals from places like Middle East, Japan, China and the U.S. Bengzon said that DoT is working with other agencies including the Department of Transportation (DoTr) and the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) with an aim to improve the airport facilities like those existent in Puerto Princesa, Davao, Iloilo, Clark, Kalibo and Cebu.


He has also said that increased high-level talks with partner countries had been responsible for improving the air access.


The DoT feels that this might lead to increased tourist arrivals from 35% to 50%. It targets to hit 12 million international tourist arrivals by 2022 under the National Tourism Development Plan (NTDP) for 2016-2022.


The Wednesday’s forum witnessed the presence of various stakeholders.


This includes airport officials, airline officials, travel and tour executives and DoT officials.


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