The Philippines wants to open direct flights with Indonesia connecting the southern Filipino city of Davao with Manado, North Sulawesi, to boost marine tourism in both countries.
Philippine Tourism Minister Ramon R. Jimenez said on Friday that it would be a good opportunity for budget airlines, given that the cities were separated by only a 48-minute jet ride.
“This will be an opportunity for both cities to offer their tourist destinations with an affordable price,” Ramon said as quoted by kompas.com, adding that new routes could be opened later this year.
The main market for both cities would be tourists from South Korea, Japan, China, Australia and Taiwan, and not Europe or the US, given the financial crisis, he said.
Davao, the second biggest city in the Philippines after Metro Manila, offers beaches, a national forest and an underwater park near Mount Apo.
Manado, similarly, can offer snorkeling and scuba diving at Bunaken underwater park and a chance to see the world's 4th tallest statue of Jesus Christ. (iwa/mtq)