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Air Asia launches Clark-Taipei route

MANILA, Philippines - Tourist exchange between Taiwan and the Philippines is expected to increase with the launch yesterday of an Air Asia flight connecting the two countries.

Air Asia Inc., launched the maiden Clark – Taipei route yesterday, at the Clark International Airport with official representative Raymond L.S. Wang, of the Taipei Economic and Cultural Office in the Philippines (TECO), and Victor Luciano, president of the Clark International Airport Corp. (CIAC) in attendance.

This development is anticipated to be advantageous for both the Philippines’ and Taiwan’s tourism industries as it will increase tourist flow and mobility between the two countries.

According to 2011 statistics from the Department of Tourism, 181,738 tourists, or roughly 4.64 percent of the total 3.91 million travelers to the Philippines, were Taiwanese nationals.

Taiwan has also been appealing to Filipinos, with 101,539 Filipino tourists going to Taiwan in 2011 – a 15.46 percent increase from 2010’s 87,944.

In the first three quarters of 2012, Taiwanese tourists occupied the 5th largest visitor volume to the Philippines with 188,862 arrivals, comprising 5.43 percent of the total local tourist market. The volume of Taiwanese visitors to the Philippines in 2012 registered the biggest leap among the top 5 visitor markets at 22.98 percent.

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The steadily increasing number of chartered flights connecting both countries has made it easier for Filipinos and Taiwanese to travel between Taiwan and the Philippines. Puerto Princesa and Boracay’s white-sand beaches are among the Taiwanese nationals’ favorite tourist spots in the Philippines.

In 2010, 22 percent out of the total 779,666 visitors to Boracay were Taiwanese. On the other hand, Filipinos are easily besotted with Taiwan’s buzzing night markets and sumptuous local delicacies.

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