A SURGE in Chinese tourists is expected in June this year as a budget airline will mount 12 Clark- Beijing flights, the Clark International Airport Corporation said on Wednesday.
Clark-based South East Asian International (SEAIR) Airline will use two aircrafts interchanging nightly for the Clark-Beijing route.
The twice-a-week flights from Clark include Kunming (Yunnan province), Nanning (Guangxi region) and Changsha (Hunan province). Three other routes will also fly directly to Puerto Princesa in Palawan.
The other twice weekly flights are Clark to Ningbo and Wenzhou (Zhejiang province), Wuhan (Hubei province) and Hefei (Anhui province).
“This is a huge development for Clark airport as SEAIR’s passengers are mainly Chinese businessmen and their families who wish to visit the country,” CIAC President and CEO Alexander Cauguiran said in a statement.
“Our Chinese guests’ keen interest in visiting choice destinations in the Philippines is a reassurance of our two countries’ longtime friendship, as consistently being fostered by President Rodrigo Duterte,” Cauguiran added.
According to CIAC, the preferred destinations of Chinese tourists are the beaches and diving locations, family recreation spots, souvenir shops, restaurants, and first-class hotels, especially inside the Clark Freeport Zone, according to CIAC.
SEAIR partnered with China International Travel Services, the biggest government-owned tour operator in China.
Department of Tourism data showed China is the third largest market for tourism in the Philippines, with some 630,000 Chinese tourists visiting the Philippines in January to November 2016.
Because of war mer ties with China, the DOT expects the number of arrivals to double this year.
SEAIR is also launching the Clark-Koror route. Koror is the most prominent among many islands comprising the main commercial center of the Republic of Palau, CIAC said.
CIAC’s management team and SEAIR executives will hold a dialogue with tourism stakeholders in Angeles City and nearby cities in Pampanga in line with the airline’s plan to include guided tours in its flight schedules, Cauguiran noted.