Tourism bags new direct flight deal to Japan

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The tourism sector is getting a huge boost from the Japanese market with a package agreement and investment commitments from the biggest travel association in Japan. These were secured in Japan during President Duterte’s recent state visit.

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Department of Tourism Secretary Wanda Teo who headed the DOT delegation announced that they have clinched a deal with Vanilla Air for direct flights between Tokyo (Narita) and Cebu. “This would ensure a stronger visibility for Cebu as a vacation destination for Japaenese tourists,” she said.

Teo said that, “This first Japanese air carrier to fly directly from Tokyo outside Manila would establish Cebu as a major international gateway and channel economic growth and development to Central Philippines, a realization of President Duterte’s economic agenda.”

She also got the nod of the Japan Association of Travel Agents (JATA), Japan’s biggest travel association, to promote new Philippine destinations the same way they marketed Cebu to become a favorite destination for Japanese tourists.

JATA members are expected to meet in the next few days to study the DOT’s proposal to keep a strong presence in the Japanese market, promoting new and emerging destinations such as Bohol, Laoag, Siargao, Iloilo, Palawan, Clark and Davao.

“With JATA’s renewed commitment to promote the Philippines, the DOT could only anticipate the Japanese market to rise to number one in generating inbound tourists,” Teo added.

The DOT also bagged two significant investment pledges from key Japanese construction and property development companies. These potential investors are looking at putting up industrial parks, retirement and shared communities, condominiums, and mixed-use properties in various places in the Philippines.

DOT Undersecretary Benito Bengzon Jr., Tourism Infrastructure Enterprise Zone Authority’s Chief Operating Officer Guiller Asido, and Philippine Tourism Attache to Tokyo Gwendolyn Batoon worked with Secretary Teo in highlighting the ‘ease of doing business’ in the Philippines and all the fiscal incentives open to people investing in travel and tourism in the country. Among the places they pitched for investments include Palawan, Bataan and Davao.

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