Tourist arrivals into the country rose by 5.9 percent for the first two months of the year and Department of Tourism (DOT) Secretary Bernadette Romulo-Puyat attributed the growth to the newly completed regional airports including the Bohol Panglao International Airport (BPIA).
Although the BPIA has not yet started to cater to international flights, the BPIA has improved air connectivity within the country.
According to Puyat, the tourist arrival growth was due to improved air access particularly with the opening of the Mactan-Cebu Airport and the BPIA.
“It’s better now, but of course we are continually working with the Department of Transportation on rehabilitating the airports and maybe having night-rated airports,” she said.
For her part, Gina Kapirig of the Bohol Tourism Office (BTO) said that BPIA has boosted tourist arrivals in the province as well.
She noted however that the agency was still gathering data on the exact number of tourists who visited the province for the first quarter.
According to Kapirig, airport operations have been smoother compared to when airlines used to operate at the small and now-defunct Tagbilaran City Airport which had a “one-plane policy” due to its size.
The Tagbilaran Airport accommodated only one aircraft at a time. Airplanes stranded at the airport for technical issues used to cause massive flight delays and cancellations.
Meanwhile, the BPIA was designed to accommodate seven aircraft at one given time and it has a passenger terminal that can handle around two million people annually. (AD with a report from PNA)