Wednesday, July 24, 2024
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Philippines is pushing for more international air arrivals

The Philippine government is working to boost flight availability and establish new routes to the country, aiming to increase arrivals from key and emerging markets.

That’s according to the local Department of Tourism (DOT), who unveiled plans to collaborate with various agencies at a recent the Kapihan sa Bagong Pilipinas (Coffee time with the New Philippines) event in Quezon City.

During the event, DOT National Capital Region Director Sharlene Zabala-Batin noted that the country’s international and domestic air transport seat capacity last year exceeded 90 percent of its pre-pandemic level and the agency anticipates further growth this year.

“Our routes development team is actively working with the DOTr (Department of Transportation) and other agencies to add more flights to the Philippines, enhance current routes, and create new ones for both air and sea travel across strategic and opportunity markets,” she said.

In 2023, seats for international flights reached 19,112,040, about 94 percent of the pre-pandemic level of 20,314,865.

Domestic flight capacity recovered to 99 percent of 2019 levels, with 36,433,138 seats.

Earlier, the DOTr signed an agreement with South Korea to increase weekly seating capacity for direct flights from Manila to Incheon from 20,000 to 30,000. South Korea, the top inbound market, brought in 1.45 million visitors in 2023.

Following South Korea are the United States, Japan, Australia, China, Canada, Taiwan, the United Kingdom, Singapore, and Malaysia.

Zabala-Batin mentioned that the agency is also targeting the Indian market, which ranked 13th in arrivals with 70,286 visitors in 2023.

Besides connectivity, she highlighted efforts to ease visa entry, diversify the tourism portfolio, and digitalize tourism.

For 2024, the DOTr aims to surpass its year-end arrivals and attract 7.7 million visitors.

Frank Schuengel
Frank Schuengel
Frank Schuengel is an online gambling industry veteran with over twenty years of experience in Europe and Asia. Equally at home in the Isle of Man and the Philippines, he started his career as a sports trader before setting up and running whole operations, and more recently focusing on the regulatory and licensing side of things in the worlds of fiat and crypto eGaming. When he is not writing about gambling topics, he can be found cycling around Manila and advocating sustainable transport solutions for a Philippines based mobility magazine.

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