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Israel opens monument for RP

Israel has opened a monument in honor of the Philippines, which declared an open door policy for Jews during the Second World War.

Tourism Secretary Ace Durano witnessed the unveiling of the Open Doors monument at the Rishon Lezion Memorial Park in Israel on June 21.

“This monument commemorates the Philippines’ selfless efforts in opening the country for thousands of Jews, where they found a safe haven during a difficult period in their history. It is indeed an honour to remember this strong connection, at a time when the world is faced with a lot uncertainty and challenges,” said Durano.

Flights to the Philippines

International visitor arrivals grew by 15.85 percent year-on-year in the first ten months of the year, according to the Department of Tourism (DOT).  Tourism Secretary Alberto Lim said this put the country on track of achieving its 3.3 millionth visitor arrival target for the year.

Terminal 3 Airport

Transportation Secretary Manuel Roxas said he has signed a memorandum of understanding with Japanese firm Takenaka Corp. to complete the Ninoy Aquino International Airport Terminal 3.  He said the terminal could be fully operational either by end of 2012 or early 2013.

Twenty-three different areas of construction are still lacking at the terminal, including baggage handling, fire alarm, flight information and closed circuit television surveillance systems.

The deal with Takenaka will reportedly cost about US$45 million.   “We would like to thank Takenaka Corporation for both being thorough and sincere in negotiating with us,” said Mr. Roxas.

Takenaka Corp. was the original contractor for NAIA 3. Its work at the facility was not completed because the airport was expropriated after the concessionaire, Philippine International Air Terminals Co. (Piatco) was declared a mere dummy firm for partner Fraport AG from Germany.

Taiwan Lifts Red Travel Alert

The government expects tourists from Taiwan to return to the Philippines, after Taipei lifted the red alert status for Taiwanese travellers bound for the country.

The Manila Economic and Cultural Office (MECO), which represents the country in Taipei, said the lifting of the travel ban would bring back thousands of Taiwanese tourists to major tourist destinations in the country.

Skyjet Flights to Boracay

SkyJet Airlines has launched the fastest flights and only jet-service from Manila to Boracay Island via Caticlan Airport on 15th April 014. The airline began operating the route with three flights per week.  ...

Caticlan airport to reopen in September 2009

Caticlan airport is gateway to BoracayThe Department of Tourism or DOT said a portion of the bordering hill at the Caticlan airport will be tapered first, to remove the obstacle near the runway and accelerate the reopening of the airport to larger aircraft by September 2009.

Under the initial phase of runway rehabilitation, the project involves contouring of the bordering hill, as an alternative to flattening out the mound which will take four to five months, according to Tourism Secretary Ace Durano.

Contouring the bordering hill will remove the obstacle that prevents the full use of 950-meter runway and ensure that the Caticlan airport reopens in September.  Pilots had to make difficult flight maneuver for steep ascent to avoid getting close to the hill, he said.

2011 Visitor Arrivals

International visitor arrivals in the Philippines grew 17.3 percent year-on-year in January 2011, on increased visitors from Korea, China and Taiwan.  Even arrivals from Hong Kong, which prohibited its nationals from visiting the Philippines in August 2010, bounced back with a growth of 11.9 percent during the first month of the year.

The Department of Tourism said tourist arrivals reached 349,713 in January, up from 298,119 visits recorded a year ago.  South Korea was the top source of arrivals, representing about 26 percent of the total.  Arrivals from Korea posted a 28 percent growth to reach 92,249 in January.

BIMP-EAGA flights

The Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines (CAAP) has agreed to provide incentives to airlines that will operate flights in the Brunei-Indonesia-Malaysia-Philippines East Asian Growth Area (BIMP-EAGA).

CAAP director general Ramon S. Gutierrez said the air linkage technical working group of the BIMP-EAGA is working towards the designation of more entry points and (entrants will) enjoy the privileges provided for under the Fifth Freedom air services agreement.

Cebu Pacific Flies to Phuket

Cebu Pacific has launched direct flights between Manila and Phuket, Thailand, according to a report by ABS-CBN.  Phuket, Thailand's biggest island, is the airline's 21st international destination and its second in Thailand after Bangkok.