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Phl back to back win at Routes Asia 2023 set to bolster country’s tourism industry

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By Victoria “NIKE” De Dios

It seems there’s no stopping Philippines’ tourism rebound. With last year’s rare 3-peats at 29th World Travel Awards 2022, now the Philippines was named winner in the Destination category of the prestigious Routes Asia 2023 held recently in Thailand.

The Philippines bested three other countries, namely the Japan National Tourism Organization, Ministry of Tourism Indonesia, and the Singapore Tourism Board for its persistence, “in its efforts to partner with airports and airlines to reinstate discontinued routes and secure new air services. It has done this through marketing efforts locally and globally, regional travel exchanges and business-to-business meetings, joint campaigns, international roadshows, and familiarisation tours for agents and media,” Routes Asia announced.

“We are immensely delighted and proud of this award for the Philippines recognizing our government’s efforts at transforming our tourism industry through connectivity and convergence,” said DOT Secretary Christina Garcia Frasco.

“Under the administration of President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr., the Department of Tourism has identified the enhancement of connectivity as an essential pillar to strengthen Philippine tourism as a whole. Thus, the effort has been towards collaborating with our key partners from the public and private sectors to ensure the resumption and addition of flights, the enhancement of gateways, and the improvement of the overall tourist experience,” said Secretary Frasco.

Meanwhile, the multi-awarded Mactan-Cebu International Airport Corporation (GMCAC) bagged another victory for the Philippines emerging as Asia’s Best Airport in the under 5 Million Passenger Category. According to Routes Asia, the GMCAC “has always taken a two-pronged approach to route development: airline marketing to create supply and destination marketing to ensure the sustainability of its airline partners’ presence and address the demand for air services.”

Routes Asia is “the only route development event dedicated to Asia Pacific, the event will provide a platform for the region’s airlines, airports, tourism authorities and aviation stakeholders to meet, share best practice and come together to develop network strategies and ensure future air service development across Asia Pacific with over 600 new air services across Asia Pacific are connected to meetings at Routes events” per the Routes Asia website.

International air seats to the Philippines are projected by the Official Airline Guide’s (OAG) Database to reach 16.1 million by the end of the year comparative to the 20.5 million registered in 2019 before the COVID-19 pandemic.

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