DOT-6 eyes Iloilo-China direct flights

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Department of Tourism Region VI is eyeing to connect Iloilo and mainland China via direct international flights to boost foreign tourist arrivals.


“We are looking at more Chinese tourist arrivals as the Department of Tourism Region VI plans to do Western Visayas Tourism Business Mission to at least four (4) out of seven (7) cities in China now connected with Kalibo International Airport”, said DOT Region VI Director Atty. Helen J. Catalbas.

Director Catalbas stressed that China has been a consistent top foreign market of Western Visayas in the past three years with figures of more than 100,000 every year. She said Kalibo International airport caters chartered and direct flights from Shanghai, Hangzhou, Chingdu, Beijing, Changsa, Peking and Chowking via Cebu Pacific, Philippine Airlines and AirAsia.

In 2013, there were 205,613 Chinese tourist arrivals in Western Visayas. The number decreased to 170,172 in 2014 primarily due to unprecedented travel advisories but these numbers rose to 184,598 in 2015.




“A project to open connection with Iloilo International Airport and any of mainland China airports is also underway as a direction towards getting more Chinese tourists in coordination with Iloilo Provincial and Iloilo City Tourism Offices”, Director Catalbas declared.

Besides going here for vacation, more Chinese tour agents and media are conducting a familiarization tour in Western Visayas to create tour packages that will further attract Chinese tourists to visit the region. A chartered cruise ship also came in September 2016 carrying more than 2000 Chinese tourists who explored the island of Boracay for a day.

“The number confirms that Western Visayas is indeed a favorite destination in the Philippines not only by Chinese tourists but other nationalities as well”, Director Catalbas emphasized. (KJS)

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