DOT targets more tourists from Singapore | Global News

DOT targets more tourists from Singapore

/ 04:46 AM July 03, 2015

As the Department of Tourism (DOT) intensifies its campaign to draw more tourists—particularly Singaporean nationals—to the country, the agency called for more upgrades at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (Naia) to enable passengers to have a first-class travel experience.

Speaking at the launch of Singapore Airlines’ new VIP lounge at the Naia Terminal 3 on Wednesday, Undersecretary for Tourism Development Benito Bengzon Jr. said development in facilities, specifically at the airport, showcases what the country can offer the world.

Singapore Airlines’ SilverKris lounge in Manila is only the fourth of its kind in the world, with its other locations in Sydney, Hong Kong and London.


“This is particularly significant for us, the fact that you (the airline company) chose Manila, because out of the 5 million foreign visitors that came to the Philippines last year, 75 percent entered through Manila,” Bengzon said in his speech.


He said that just last year, about 188,000 Singaporean tourists visited the Philippines.

“We have set very ambitious targets… We are hoping that before the end of the year, we can get more than 200,000 and in the next few years build it up to 300,000 or 400,000 until we reach half a million,” he said.

According to Bengzon, the country’s capital continues to be the nation’s window to the world. The lounge, he said, will be “the showcase for Philippine tourism in the global market.”

The SilverKris lounge at the Naia Terminal 3 is a 450-square meter space that can accommodate 117 business class passengers who can relax there while waiting for their flights. The amenity offers customers personal spaces catering to their needs and features a perfect marriage of Filipino and Singaporean art, culture and cuisine.

Bengzon said the upgrade set up by Singapore Airlines at the airport is important to the DOT.

“We are talking about passenger experience. And the fact that we are able to deliver on this kind of quality experience is a good base for us in promoting the rest of the Philippines,” he said.


For her part, Singapore Ambassador to the Philippines Kok Li Peng said the fact that Singapore Airlines set up a station in Manila “shows the Philippines is a worthwhile investment.”

“The Philippines is a good partner. It is not an easy task to pull this together. I think many hands around here, many willing hands, make light work… The Philippines is the new regional gateway and the new regional destination,” she said.

“We are benefiting tremendously from open skies. For one, the Philippines is now the go-to destination for Singaporeans as well as international tourists who are interested in seeing new beaches, clear water and blue skies.”

Finance Secretary Cesar Purisima, one of the event’s guests of honor, described the lounge as a “step-up” for the country’s premier airport.

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“This new feature of Naia is definitely a step-up and we need more of these ‘step-ups.’ I think this just gives us a vision of what Naia can be if we work hard at it,” he said.

TAGS: Department of Tourism, Naia Terminal 3, Ninoy Aquino International Airport, Singapore, Singapore Airlines, tourists

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