Tourism arrivals in Bohol in 2017 have reached 1.1 million already and Provincial Tourism Council Chairman lawyer Lucas Nunag is bullish that 2018 would even be more promising.
Speaking during the ceremonial signing of the Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) on tourism promotions and marketing between Bohol and AirAsia Philippines, the tourism chair said Bohol resorts report high occupancy rates in the first quarter of the year.
The prospects of the increase in tourism arrivals in fact soar higher as the new Panglao Bohol Airport that is built to cater to international flights is equipped with an Instrument Landing System (ILS) that upgrades airport operations to night time.
The government has pushed for the implementation of the P7.73 billion new Panglao Airport designed to be a showcase for sustainable environment.
Replacing Tagbilaran Airport which is categorized as a sunrise to sunset visual landing facility which offers flight visual landings only, the new Panglao airport opening in August cater to nigh flights and keeps a Precision Approach path Indicator (PAPI), Short Approach Lighting System (SALS), ILS-Lit Landing Zone, using high intensity lights, according to Department of Transportation (DOTr) project Engr. Edgardo Mangalili.
And while Tagbilaran Airport is constrained to a limited number of flights owing to a short runway and single capacity parking tarmac, the new airport in Panglao would have an estimated 20 shuttles to Manila and 4 to Cebu on its daily operations.
Initially planned considering some parameters, the new airport should have at least served 1.44 million passengers for its air traffic demand for 2020, the airport would have attained its 375 domestic and 128 international flights.
That too, gives the DOTR only about a year to attain that, with a delayed project implementation, said Mangalili during a presentation to AirAsia officials April 17 at the new airport complex.
By 2020, authorities see 42 domestic trips and 4 international flights daily flights from Panglao, an undated DOTR multimedia presentation showed.
The projection is based on the new airport features like wide aprons and three multi-angled Passenger Boarding Bridges (PBBs), capable of serving six boarding gates and a remote stand for another plane, added Mangalili.
As to passenger comfort, the new airport would have not just one storey as initially designed but was upgraded to two-storey passenger terminal building with a floor space occupying 13,337 square meters to house 13 check in kiosks, 20 check in counters for both domestic and international flights.
The airport would also have ample space for passenger baggage claim and carousel, check in halls, security checks, passenger pre departures halls and areas for concessions apart from the normal rest room provisions.
As projected, the New Bohol Airport in Panglao would serve 1.44 million passengers and tourists for Bohol in 2020, a figure that would be reaching 1.96 million by 2030 considering an apron occupancy of 7 aircrafts, according to DOTr.
Apart from the apparent advantage of a variety of destination options while in Bohol, the airport puts tourists barely five minutes away from the beach resorts and the resorts.
Up in the pipeline at 6 big hotel projects to double the number of rooms that can room in these passengers and tourists, Nunag said.
Over all these, the tourism council chair boldly said there will be dramatic changes in Bohol’s tourism dynamics with Panglao airport opening in August and with Air Asia already telegraphing its interest in making the island airport its secondary hub in the region. (rahc/PIA-7/Bohol)