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PIA Press Release

Limited efforts in pushing for open skies noted

by Prix D Banzon

Davao City (21 February) -- The tourism industry players in Davao noted that there is little effort in working for open skies to get the enough support in making the city the hub for low cost carrier.

But Art Boncato, chairman Davao Cooperative Center for Visitors and Conventions said this will not stop them from promoting Davao as a major destination.

He stressed that despite the limitation still some carriers like Cebu Pacific made Davao City as their third hub in the country and it is opening direct routes to other countries.

He said that starting May 8, 2008 Cebu Pacific will open its Davao-Hong Kong and Davao-Singapore routes direct and not passing by Cebu.

"Given this we now could see a major difference at the airport and this has to be supported by the Davao community," he said.

He said what will make the airline business feasible is the load factor because if you don't have it the business will not be viable.

Boncato meanwhile said that during the convergence meeting of the BIMP EAGA in Davao City on February 23-24, concerns on air transport and tourism sectors will be the top agenda.

He said discussions will be focused on possible joint efforts to help the sub-region expand and sustain viable routes as well as promote itself as a single tourism destination.

In a press statement Mary Ann Montemayor, chairperson of the BIMP EAGA Tourism Council said that the convergence of decisions makers from the airline and travel sectors within Brunei-Indonesia-Malaysia and the Philippines East Asean Growth Area is a much awaited event.

It seeks to increase awareness on the developments of the BIMP EAGA airline and tourism sector and promote appreciation of the opportunities and benefits of the sub-region's cooperation.

The BIMP EAGA convergence meeting is held back to back with the Davao Travel Show where more than 50 exhibitors both domestic and international on varied products at the SM City Davao event center.

Montemayor also said that the convergence meeting aims to identify practical mechanisms to ensure continuing coordination and cooperation in the development or air and tourism industries of the sub-region.

She also said that specific details will be discussed to firm up commitment of the airline companies to serve EAGA routes including other business opportunities in BIMP-EAGA's aviation market. (PIA) [top]

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