As an archipelago of islands, the Philippines rely on its air transport industry to support connectivity both domestically and to the wider world. Around 99 per cent of its inbound market comes by air and therefore developing air services and promoting the country’s tourism potential are essential ingredients in its business development strategy.
Right now a key focus is to develop enhanced international links and following the removal of the country’s national carrier, Philippine Airlines (PAL), from the European Blacklist, it will later this year resume direct flights into London, a likely first step of an expansion across the continent. Speaking to The HUB at this year’s World Routes forum in Las Vegas, Benito C. Bengzon Jr, Assistant Secretary, Market Development Group at the Philippines Department of Tourism suggested that other Filipino carriers could also further enhance connectivity to Europe.
“We would like to have a stronger presence in long-haul markets. We are very pleased our flag carrier, Philippine Airlines, will soon be flying to London and we are confident that this is just the first step. Hopefully the other big cities will be covered by different Philippines’ carriers,” he said.
Alongside the long-haul market the executive expects further development in its core short-haul markets with growth in links to North East Asia, China and Korea using the enormous Filipino diaspora to support its development strategy. There are estimated to be more than ten million Filipinos currently working or residing abroad.
“There is enormous potential for us to develop a global network of guys who will help promote tourism to the Philippines,” said Bengzon Jr. “At the same time this provides a huge market for the different airlines that are planning to launch flights in and out of the Philippines.”
The Philippines Department of Tourism uses trade and consumer events to reach out to partners and sees World Routes as a strong platform to build relationships with airlines across the world. “We see this as a very significant platform for us to achieve our development objectives for tourism,” said Bengzon Jr during this year’s event in Las Vegas. You can hear more of his views in the video, below.
Benito C. Bengzon Jr, Assistant Secretary, Market Development Group at the Philippines Department of Tourism speaks about market development at World Routes.