LAOAG CITY, Ilocos Norte, Aug 4 (PIA) — Delegates from Kaoshiung, Taiwan arrived on Thursday for their five-day familiarization tour of Ilocos Norte through the maiden flight of Far Eastern Airlines’ Kaoshiung-Laoag charter flight.
Composed of media and travel agents, the Taiwan group was the first batch of Chinese tourists to visit the province in two years after Taiwan flights were cancelled.
Milagros Gonzales, Senior Tourism Operations Officer and Officer-In-Charge of the Department of Tourism in the province said Philippine Tourism Attache Rene Reyes worked on the resumption of Taiwan flights as part of the government’s efforts to promote the country’s tourist destinations.
Gonzales led local tourism leaders in hosting a welcome dinner for the Taiwan tour group at the Fort Ilocandia Resort and Casino on Thursday night.
“We are hopeful that more Taiwanese visitors and tour groups would follow after the inaugural flight,” she said.
Kaoshiung, Taiwan’s most southern province, is the Philippine’s closest neighbor. It will only take 45 minutes from Kaoshiung to Laoag by plane.
This proximity prompted the DOT to work on the resumption of Taiwan charter flights through FEA and the Madali Tours. DOT said the charter flights to Laoag will provide additional 1,120 seats per week.
The DOT said the tour package amounting to NT$ 11,990 ($400) or equivalent to a five-day and four-night tours to Laoag with full board and tour is the lowest in the market today.
The tour package includes visit to museums, historical places, Pagudpud beaches, century-old churches and a heritage tour of nearby Vigan City.
Gonzales said on top of spurring foreign tourism, Filipinos working and living in Taiwan will also benefit from the new flights.
“Unlike other charter operations, the agents can sell tickets only for Filipinos,” Gonzales said. (JCR/CCA-PIA1 Ilocos Norte)