TUGUEGARAO CITY, Cagayan: Regular flights to Batanes boosted tourist arrivals in the country’s northernmost province by nearly sevenfold over the last five years, the tourism office in Basco, Batanes said.
Provincial Tourism Officer Hegel Valones said records at the Basco Airport Tourism Resource and Information Center showed that Batanes received 25,382 visitors in 2015.
This consisted of 1,083 foreign and 24,299 domestic visitors, or an increase of 684 percent compared to 2011 figures.
“The year 2011 was very low at 3,707 visitors and even lower in 2012 at 3,411. However, in 2013, our visitors went up to 17,013,” Valones said.
She attributed the sharp increase in tourist arrivals last year to the regular schedule of flights to and from the province by Philippine Airlines (PAL), Skyjet Air Transport, and Skypasada.
Since 2013, PAL and Skyjet have been providing three to four flights a week from Manila to Basco, while Skypasada has three flights a week from Tuguegarao to Basco and back.