‘Pos­i­tive im­pact’ of PAL flights in San Vi­cente seen

Palawan News - - BUSINESS - By Rachel Ganan­cial Cor­re­spon­dent

Lo­cal govern­ment of­fi­cials of San Vi­cente town are op­ti­mistic that their new air­port is “a change-maker” that will post huge pos­i­tive im­pacts” in the fu­ture of their tourism in­dus­try. This af­ter the maiden flight of the Philip­pine Air­lines (PAL) Ex­press ar­rived at the San Vi­cente Air­port (SVA) on Oc­to­ber 28. Town ad­min­is­tra­tor James Inawasan said PAL’s in­au­gu­ral flight from Clark In­ter­na­tional Air­port (CIA), Pam­panga, sig­nals a new era in their tourism in­dus­try now that it is ac­ces­si­ble to trav­el­ers that will come from Luzon. “This will dra­mat­i­cally change the his­tory of San Vi­cente. A lot of peo­ple is wait­ing for the open­ing and the start of com­mer­cial op­er­a­tions which will make our town reach­able now to trav­el­ers. Fi­nally, this is hap­pen­ing,” he said. Inawasan said the SVA will make sub­stan­tial con­tri­bu­tions to the over­all econ­omy of their town be­cause it has made trans­porta­tion sys­tem bet­ter. He said trans­porta­tion is an in­te­gral part of the tourism in­dus­try be­cause it can link peo­ple to var­i­ous tourist at­trac­tions any­where in the world. “There is a gen­eral out­look that tourism ex­pands more when there are bet­ter trans­port sys­tems to serve the peo­ple and bring them to places they have never seen be­fore,” he added. In July this year, he said the trend in vis­i­tor ar­rivals in San Vi­cente is im­prov­ing, grow­ing by around 41 per­cent from Jan­uary to June this year com­pared to the same pe­riod in 2017. Records of the town showed that tourist ar­rivals in the mu­nic­i­pal­ity grew from 15,974 last year to 22,518 in 2018 for the pe­riod. Cor­ne­lio Te­jero Jr., Puerto Princesa PAL Ex­press sta­tion man­ager said it is their goal to sup­port the eco­nomic de­vel­op­ment of ar­eas in the coun­try that are emerg­ing as tourism des­ti­na­tions in the Philip­pines. “Philip­pine Air­lines’ goal is to help the eco­nomic de­vel­op­ment of San Vi­cente start­ing now. On this day, we start- ed the ini­tia­tive and we will help ad­ver­tise Long Beach and Port Bar­ton,” he said. Te­jero said PAL is still study­ing the pos­si­bil­ity of putting the said route based on the ac­tual per­for­mance of the CIA to the SVA. This was con­firmed by Inawasan who said it would be a wel­come de­vel­op­ment in the near fu­ture. “Wala pang official talk kung magkaka­roon ng San Vi­cente to Cebu pero I think that will hap­pen soon be­cause def­i­nitely, strate­gic point ang Cebu go­ing to other parts of the coun­try,” he said. The PAL Ex­press maiden flight landed at the SVA from the CIA in Pam­panga at 8:15 a.m. loaded with 86 vis­i­tors. Inawasan said they have posted 20 trans­port groups to ser­vice the pas­sen­gers who wish to also go to Port Bar­ton, and the neigh­bor­ing town of El Nido. Engr. Percy Malone­sio, Civil Avi­a­tion Author­ity of the Philip­pines (CAAP) area man­ager for Puerto Princesa City In­ter­na­tional Air­port (PPCIA), said the in­au­gu­ral flight is a good start for other air­line com­pa­nies that might also launch trips to San Vi­cente. “It is a good start, ito ngay­ong nakikita natin ay suc­cess na ang ibig sabi­hin kung ma­g­a­nda ang ac­cep­tance, at la­hat ng terms of safety and se­cu­rity ay nan­doon ay magig­ing maayos. It is a good start para sa fu­ture ng mga in­com­ing flights,” Malone­sio said.

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