Sunday, February 24, 2013

Tourism Congress of the Philippines

Along with attracting many people in this year's Panagbenga festival, tourists will be pleased to know trips to Baguio will soon be more accessible.

President of Tourism Congress of the Philippines Marceline Clemente announced during a speech Saturday there has been a clamor from both local and foreign tourists for Baguio to have an airport that can make it faster and easier for tourists to reach Baguio.

"We are working on a good airport and adding a franchise of tourist buses and public transport," Clemente said.

Clemente added this was necessary with the continued increase in the number of tourists going to Baguio with an estimated 1.7 million in this year's Panagbenga festival.

"With the assistance of congressmen and other local leaders, we are continually bringing this request to our national government," she added.

City Mayor Mauricio Domogan himself explained the private sector has expressed a persistent demand for the improvement of the inactive Loakan airport in Baguio.

"Even if former Pres. Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo decided to keep it open for emergency purposes, there has not been any registered flight there," Domogan explained.

"The Loakan airport (runway) is only 1.7 km, it cannot accommodate big airplanes," he said, explaining the importance of its upgrade being put to action.

According to Baguio Flower Festival Foundation Incorporated, although Loakan airport does not meet the Federal Aviation Standards at present, it is hopeful there will soon be noticeable development.

"We are happy that PNoy (Pres. Benigno S. Aquino) is continuing it," Domogan said. "This is a big thing for the people of the North."

Aside from improving the airport, Clemente also mentioned an extension of the North Luzon Expressway (NLEx), estimated to be finished in a year's time, will be added to cut the travel time from Manila to Baguio to three to four hours instead of the usual five to six.

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