The timing is bad given the dim prospects of the travel industry due to rising cost of fuel.
However, I believe local tourism industry players should strike the iron while it is hot.
The recent air agreements signed by the country has finally included Davao as a new gateway. I have been batting for this during the past five years and finally the Civil Aviation Board has acceded.
Short of our desired “open skies” policy for Davao, these new air agreements gave flight entitlements for the city from Thailand, Netherlands and Hong Kong.
My particular interest is Bangkok. As one of Asia’s main regional hubs, I have been proposing for air links between Davao and the Thai capital since 2003. Bangkok receives more than 1 million tourists a month. If we can lure even just 1 percent of that throng, Davao could easily double its foreign tourist arrivals annually! And that is not counting Thai tourists yet just to show how huge this market is.
Amsterdam is too far to make any plans for now. While flights to Hong Kong are now available.
So, local tourism industry players should not let this opportunity pass by. They should immediately work with either local air carriers or Thai airlines to mount direct air links between the city and Bangkok. This would give Davao a foothold in the booming Mekong Delta region that includes rising tourist destinations such as Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia.
I am confident we can develop a good market for the Davao-Bangkok sector not only for tourism but for trade and the overseas Filipino market as well.
See related posts at our Open Skies category at the left sidebar.