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Transfer of flights to Clark to boost Central Luzon tourism

MANILA, Philippines – The plan to transfer flights to the Clark International Airport to help decongest the country’s main gateway is expected to cause a ripple effect on Central Luzon’s tourism industry, an official of the Department of Tourism (DOT) said on Friday.

On the sidelines of  the “NLEX Tara na Sa Norte Tourism and Travel Fair, Region 3 director Ronaldo P. Tiotuico said directing flights to Clark, instead of the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA), would boost tourist arrivals in the region.

“When they move the domestic and international flights from NAIA to Clark, well, it’s going to be a big help for tourism. I’m sure this will increase our visitor arrivals exponentially,” Tiotuico said.

The regional director said he estimates tourist traffic in Central Luzon to increase at a rate of more than 20 percent should the plan be implemented.

It would also mean more players will be attracted to invest in hotels and accommodations, Tiotuico said.

“Altogether, we have 15,000 rooms in Region 3. Manila is about 30,000 rooms. So we have half of that in Metro Manila. And it will increase more because of the presence of Clark International Airport,” he added.

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Central Luzon is located in Northern Philippines and is comprised of seven provinces, namely, Aurora, Bataan, Bulacan, Nueva Ecija, Pampanga, Tarlac and Zambales.

According to Tiotuico, tourist arrivals in the region reached 3.4 million in 2015. About 80 percent of these travelers are locals, while the rest are foreign tourists.

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