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Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Macau Govt Tourism calls for flight to Davao

A direct flight between Macau and Davao City, in the Philippines would boost the Macau market, the general manager of the Macau Government Tourism Office (MGTO) in the Philippines said. Quoted by Mindanao Times, Narzalina Z. Lim called on the aviation industry and both Governments to push through the opening of this route.
Furthermore, she said, a direct flight would also allow the Mindanao island to attract a significant slice of the MSAR visitors coming to the Philippines. “Macau tourists like to frolic in beaches and you have beautiful beaches here. Those in the [island of] Samal and other areas of Davao Region are known for beautiful beaches,” Lim said.
The MGTO representative also said that the new Philippines Government is looking at the possibility of implementing “an open skies policy, or the liberalisation of the airline industry.” During a promotional campaign in Davao City, Lim said the Benigno Aquino Administration should implement this strategy as soon as possible.
If that were to happen, the negotiations to launch a direct flight would immediately take place, she assured. Both the MGTO local office and other tourism industry stakeholders in the province will join together to convince the airline industry to service the Davao City-Macau route, Lim said.
In the first half of this year more than 134,000 Filipino nationals have entered MSAR with a tourist visa, up 8 percent from the same period of 2009.
On the other hand, the MGTO executive said that in order to attract Macau visitors, Davao Region has to shed the negative publicity linked to the Muslim insurgency. Davao City is a peaceful area and it is a “misconception” that the whole island of Mindanao is troubled by this conflict, Lim explained.
Back in 2006, Air Macau spoke of launching a direct flight to Davao City, using an Airbus A320 that could accommodate 156 passengers. The flag carrier even posted billboard announcements in the Philippines announcing it would begin operations by December that year. However, the opening of the route was postponed indefinitely.

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