Ground work for Taiwan-Iloilo chartered flight starts

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ILOILO CITY (PNA) -- The Department of Tourism (DOT) through its offices in Western Visayas or Region 6 and Taiwan has started the ground works to make the Taiwan-Iloilo chartered flight possible.

In a media statement, DOT 6 Director, Atty. Helen J. Catalbas said that her office will be hosting a Business-to-Business (B2B) Networking session that will gather Taiwanese and Western Visayas tourism industry stakeholders and representatives from national carriers Cebu Pacific Air and Philippine Airlines in March.

Catalbas disclosed that they are arranging the visit of 20 Taipei-based tour operators and travel agents, eight Taiwan media and two DOT–Taiwan personnel on March 27-31 this year to allow them to familiarize with the standard itinerary offered by accredited tour operators in Iloilo, Guimaras and Negros Occidental and inspect properties relative to accommodation, transportation and food.

Last January 20-22, two Taiwan-based media personnel arrived in Iloilo to cover the Iloilo Dinagyang Festival and visit other points of interests in Iloilo and Guimaras. The visit hoped to raise awareness of Taiwanese travelers on the attractions and facilities of the said places as featured in Apple News Daily and Formosa TV.

SET TV, another Taiwan-based media, will arrive on February 17-23 to take shots of the out-of-the-box daily points of interest and lifestyle in Iloilo, Guimaras and Bacolod City/Negros Occidental.

They are expected to come in time for the Paraw Regatta Festival, another attraction in Iloilo City.

The visits of the Taiwan-based media practitioners were arranged by the DOT in partnership with the Tourism Promotions Board and other tourism stakeholders in Western Visayas.

It is hoped that the first chartered flight from Taiwan to Iloilo International Airport will be in 2018 in time for the 50th anniversary of the Iloilo Dinagyang Festival, Catalbas expressed.