This may sound as “news” to the uninitiated. But we have been telling this all along.
If the country wants to dramatically increase its tourist arrivals, it needs more flights and rooms to accommodate our visitors.
The so-called peace and order image problem in the country is the least concern abroad.
There are also violent incidents in France, Spain, US, Italy and UK, particularly “terrorist bombings” but how come they are the world’s top tourist draws?
They have the sites, the infra and the transport links.
Many areas in the country have plenty of sites, but unfortunately little infra and very limited transport links.
On the latter point, because our air carriers lack the plans and the planes to bring the tourists, we should adopt an “open skies” regime to lure in more foreign carriers.
In the case of Clark, we have seen how the “open skies” policy there raised its visitor arrivals from practically nil in 2003 to over 1 million in less than four years, truly a dramatic increase.
It is elementary. The success of Clark should be replicated in the whole country, if not in our key gateways like Davao.