Three questions for the Philippine Department of Tourism

Ahead of Routes Asia 2019, Erwin Balane, head of route development for The Philippine Department of Tourism, discusses why Cebu decided to host the event.

Why did you decide to host Routes Asia?

Hosting Routes Asia gives us the opportunity to encourage carriers to consider the international gateways of the Philippines. We will be able to raise our profile in the Asian aviation community and demonstrate that the Philippines is a multi-gateway destination, where aviation infrastructures are in place and international airports are compliant with international aviation standards. By promoting the Philippines to leading carriers in Asia, we will continue to improve air connectivity from major tourist source markets to the Philippines.

How much did hosting the Manila event drive your thinking?

When we hosted Routes Asia 2016 in Manila, we recorded a huge spike in terms of international air seats to the Philippines from new international air routes.  For 2017, total new international air seats to the Philippines reached 1.049 million, a growth of 18.15% over the previous year.  But what is more interesting is that, 85.46% of these new international air seats where mounted by foreign and local carriers outside of Manila. This means that we were able to utilise our secondary gateways in terms of passenger traffic and decongest Manila of aircraft and passenger traffic. As of November 2018, total new international air seats to the Philippines already reached 1.527 million, a huge increase of 45.57% over the previous year.

What can Routes delegates look forward to at the event?

When we hosted this event in Manila in 2016, we were delighted to hear positive comments from delegates who experienced the Filipino brand of hospitality. This warm welcome will, of course, be something that is felt by all delegates that attend Routes Asia 2019. Delegates will see the new Terminal which has been dubbed the only “Resort Airport in Asia.” They can also experience Cebu brand of dishes and delicacies which are popular in Asia.  Truly, their participation will make them feel that “It’s More Fun In The Philippines”.

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