By Jess Malabanan | Posted on Sep. 05, 2013 at 12:02am | manilastandardtoday.com
CLARK Freeport– Tourism establishments in Central and Northern Luzon are bullish with the development of the Clark International Airport, a vital link that will connect them to other countries.
Clark International Airport Corp. president and chief executive Victor Jose Luciano said Clark Airport is now the airport of the north, especially with the construction of a new expressway that would link Clark to other parts of Luzon.
“The construction of Tarlac-Pangasinan-La Union Expressway is a great factor that will connect travelers from Baguio City and the rest of Northern Luzon areas to Clark,” Luciano said during a gathering of tourism-related businesses at the Rosebowl Restaurant and Azalea Residence in Baguio City over the weekend.
Luciano cited the benefits Clark Airport would give to travelers from the north, saying travel time from Baguio City to Clark would be cut by at least two hours once the expressway project was completed. “Clark is now the airport of the north,” he said.
Hotel and restaurant owners, travel agencies and tour operators, including local officials from Baguio City, La Trinidad, Itogon, Sablan, Tuba and Tublay, held a Tourism Forum Road Show where Luciano was invited as the guest-of-honor and speaker.
The forum, dubbed “Connecting BLISTT to Clark-The international gateway” and organized by Tourism Department-Cordillera Autonomous Region, aimed to increase the level of awareness of the people in the north, including businessmen, overseas workers and other stakeholders in the academe and civic organizations about the present development at Clark.
Luciano said Emirates Airlines would commence non-stop daily flights via Dubai-Clark on Oct. 1, while Qatar Airways would follow with daily flights via Doha-Clark route on Oct. 28.
“There will be a boost in tourism in the north especially Baguio City were Emirates and Qatar will bring in tourists from Europe and Africa,” he said.
Luciano said the Transportation Department was promoting a “dual airport system” that would develop both the Ninoy Aquino International Airport and Clark International Airport to further attract investments and tourists to the country.
“Manila airport has already reached 30 million annual capacity and will increase to 40 million in the coming years and the government is now studying a dual airport system with Clark Airport to decongest NAIA,” he said.