Direct Manila-Paris air link seen to boost Philippine tourism

December 1, 2015 10:57 am 

PARIS, France, Nov. 30 — Establishing an air link between Manila and Paris will boost the arrival of French tourists to the Philippines, Philippine Ambassador to France Ma. Theresa Lazaro has said.

Since the visit of President Benigno S. Aquino III in Paris last year, several agreements have been signed by the Philippines and France to strengthen their relations, Ambassador Lazaro told Radio TV Malacañang in a recent interview.

These agreements include those on trade cooperation, higher education, and research, as well as people-to-people exchanges.

Lazaro noted that last October, Trade Secretary Gregory Domingo participated in business and trade discussions under a joint economic cooperation between the two countries.

"At may malaking delegasyon na pupunta sa Pilipinas to continue to strengthen the relations pagdating sa edukasyon. Education is very, very important among the other aspects," she said.

"Meron din tayong pinirmahan na agreement on cultural matters and people-to-people exchanges. Dumadami na."

In the tourism sector, Lazaro said they are waiting for the establishment of direct air services of the Philippine Airlines between Paris and Manila.

"With the direct flights, mapapaige pa ang tourism number natin pero even at this point, the French people are looking at the Philippines in terms of diving spots and, of course, our beaches are excellent beaches," she said.

Based on Department of Tourism figures from January to September, France is one of the country's high growth markets.

For the month of September alone, France belonged to the market with substantial growth in inbound tourists, with 34,173 arrivals (+16.75 percent).

Other markets that posted substantial growth were India, 54,565 arrivals; Saudi Arabia, 40,453; Argentina, 1,357; Brazil, 2,602; Spain, 17,523; Israel, 8,890; and Turkey 4,365.

On a regional basis, Eastern Mediterranean Europe had the highest increase of 44.8 percent; followed by South America with 33.5 percent; and South Asia with 20.56 percent. (PNA)

RMA/PND/EDS

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