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Promoting tourism in PH: Government to develop 85 airports nationwide

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To further promote tourism growth in the Philippines, the government is gearing up to develop at least 85 airports facilities across the country.

The Philippines’ Department of Tourism (DOT) and Department of Transportation (DOTr) shall work closely together to set criteria for the airports to be prioritized, which will have a significant impact on tourism growth.

“We are talking about developing our airports so that we have more capacity to receive flights from other destinations and accommodate more tourists to the country,” DOT Undersecretary Arturo Boncato Jr. said.

“We also like to develop a certain path in developing airports that need initial help. There are small airports that would require some attention. They’re not primary; they are secondary they probably don’t have the desired number of tourists yet but given the potential of the destination we could give more attention to it in developing,” Boncato said.

The DOT will focus on modernizing the infrastructure and facilities of the airports in provinces to provide direct flights from tourists in major gateways of the country including Manila, Cebu, Davao and Clark.

“We would like to give as an example the Davao International Airport. There is a small airport in Mati, Davao Oriental if you travel by land that’s around three hours from the Davao International Airport but if we open the small airport in Mati that would help improve the economy of not only Davao Oriental but Compostela Valley all the way to the eastern seaboard going to Surigao. So that is the kind of concept that we would like to rollout in developing our airports. So there’s a hub and there’s spokes — small airports to support the big airports,” Boncato said.

The Tourism department will provide inputs to the DOTr on the airports to be prioritized, which will be based on increasing demand of tourists.

Currently, there are 13 domestic airports and 12 international airports across the country that are either completed or have ongoing improvements and upgrades, according to the DOTr.

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