Clemente said the introduction of more inter-island flights is seen to make travelling around the country seamless and easier.
Improved travel connectivity benefits tourism
Catherine Talavera (The Philippine Star) - December 26, 2018 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — The introduction of more flights and improvement of some of the country’s airports are some factors that positively impacted the tourism sector this year, stakeholders said.

“The factors that impacted us positively would have to include the fact that we really did not have any major natural disaster or political situation that would otherwise scare off tourists,” Tourism Congress of the Philippines (TCP) president Jose Clemente III told The Star.

“Added accessibility and new facilities have also been at the forefront positive developments,” he said.

Clemente said the introduction of more inter-island flights is seen to make travelling around the country seamless and easier.

“New airports in Cebu and Bohol have just opened which makes the possibility of more direct flights into the Philippines more of a reality more than ever,” Clemente said.

Colliers International Philippines research manager Joey Roi Bondoc told The Star that the Philippine leisure sector received a much-needed boost in 2018 following the completion of the second terminal of Mactan-Cebu International Airport (MCIA).

“With the Department of Tourism (DOT) projecting a surge in foreign arrivals, local and national developers in Cebu have started either to bring in foreign hotel brands or to expand homegrown ones,” Bondoc said.

Leechiu Property Consultants (LPC) CEO David Leechiu earlier said there is a need for the country to better promote its improved accessibility to the tourism market.

“We need to do a better job of promoting this connectivity because I don’t think the market is aware of what has been happening in the last two to three years,” Leechiu said, emphasizing the improvement in connectivity in the past few years.

Leechiu also previously mentioned the need to encourage tourists to bypass Manila when entering the country.

“What’s interesting is that there are so many flights from Korea to the Philippines and outside Manila. There’s a lot of flights to Clark, Cebu to Kalibo,”he said.

Leechiu emphasized that by entering through regional airports, foreign tourists would be able to save more time, as most of the tourist destinations are located outside of Manila.

He added that these areas are mostly located within the so-called Turqoise Triangle composed of the islands of Cebu, Boracay, Bohol and Palawan.

“If you bypass Manila and go to Cebu, you can actually go to many of these places and they’re all within a one-hour flight,” Leechiu said.

Earlier this month, the DOT said it is working with the Department of Transportation (DOTr) to prioritize the development of more airports through a convergence program between the two government agencies. This aims to accommodate the growing demand for travel across the country.

“Now we’re focused on looking at, at least 85 airports all over the country to make sure that they are really capable and that they would have the capacity to receive guests directly,” Tourism Undersecretary Arturo Boncato Jr. earlier said.

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