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Tourism Secretary Wanda Teo

Chinese charter operators eye Philippines flights

Tourism Secretary Wanda Corazon Teo met with a Chinese group planning to operate chartered flights from Nanning City in China to the Philippines.

More Chinese charter operators have expressed interest in mounting flights to the country, the tourism chief said.

Teo said the charter operator has not yet forged a formal agreement with the Department of Tourism.

“They’re asking for [our] help. They want morning flights,” Teo said.

“I said we would do our best to help you. They said they really want it. Hopefully, they will be doing these charted flights by March,” she added.

Last September, the DOT inked an agreement with Chengdu-based charter operator Hanglv International Travel Group to further boost the thriving route between mainland China and Manila.

Teo said the agency continues to receive interest from Chinese charter operators to mount flights from China to Manila.

Teo said most of these operators are always asking for chartered flights to Manila, but she urges them consider other airports in the country such as Clark, Davao, Palawan and Cebu.

The Philippines has seen an influx of Chinese tourists this year, mainly driven by the improved diplomatic relations between the two countries as well as the Visa Upon Arrival (VUA) option for Chinese nationals.

For this year, the DOT expects Chinese arrivals to hit the one million mark.

As of the first 10 months of the year, Chinese arrivals had reached 810,807, accounting for 14.81 percent of the total arrivals.

China is currently the Philippines’ second top source market, following South Korea.

Based on latest available figures from the DOT, visitor receipts surged 36.28 percent in the first nine months to P243.23 million.

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