Laoag City, a major tourist destination in northern Luzon, is welcoming about 400 tourists per week after China Eastern Airlines launched the Guangzhou-Laoag chartered flights recently.
With major tourism stakeholders, Department of Tourism (DoT) Secretary Wanda Tulfo-Teo led the said launching at the White Swan Hotel in Guangzhou, China.
The inaugural Guangzhou-Laoag flight on Nov. 1 had more than 100 passengers, said Teo.
Initiated by Jimei Group, twice-weekly chartered flights from Guangdong to Laoag and vice versa are bringing in Chinese tourists to the region.
The tourists stayed at Fort Ilocandia Resort and Casino where they played golf and casino. They also explored Ilocos Norte’s sand dunes, cinematic landscapes, beaches and historical sites.
With the launching of the chartered flights, Teo expressed optimism the DoT could surpass the six-million tourist target for 2016.
According to a data from DoT, more tourists from China have been drawn to the Philippines lately, with about 500,000 Chinese arrivals in 2015.
China had the world’s largest number of outbound tourists. In 2015, around 120 million Chinese traveled overseas with about $500 billion annual spending, according to China National Tourism Administration (CNTA).