A tourism official in this city on Friday expressed optimism that direct flights from Hong Kong and South Korea, which were halted due to the pandemic, will resume soon with support from the Department of Tourism (DOT).
In an interview, City Tourism Office (CTO) chief Demetrio Alvior Jr. said the resumption of the direct flights will provide a substantial boost to Puerto Princesa’s recovering economy post-Covid-19.
He highlighted that direct flights from Hong Kong and South Korea can play a crucial role in revitalizing the city’s economy, primarily by facilitating increased tourism through convenient and direct travel options.
Tourists from Hong Kong and South Korea are known to be avid travelers, and the availability of direct flights makes Puerto Princesa a more attractive destination.
“The Department of Tourism continues to help us (contact industry stakeholders). We are also in constant talks with Jeju (largest South Korean low-cost airline), which has communicated its desire to have daily flights to Puerto Princesa via Taiwan,” Alvior said.
He mentioned that passengers from Jeju are reluctant to fly to Puerto Princesa coming from Manila due to the 18-hour total travel duration.
Alvior emphasized that the revival of these air links has the potential to stimulate business and trade opportunities, like partnerships, investments, and the establishment of new businesses, contributing to job creation and overall economic growth.
The influx of tourists and business travelers from these regions will also bring in revenue for various sectors, including hospitality, transportation, dining, and retail.
“They (Asian tourists) want to come here and spend their money,” Alvior added.
It was disclosed that on June 20, budget carrier Tigerair resumed its direct twice-a-week flights to the city, which was temporarily suspended in April due to the tensions between Taiwan and China.
The evening Tigerair flight, operating through the Puerto Princesa International Airport (PPIA), brought in 160 passengers from Taipei.
Alvior personally greeted the visitors, including Europeans. (PNA)