By Analou De Vera
The Philippines should improve its airports and make it at par with international standards in order to further boost its tourism industry.
This was highlighted by key personalities in the tourism industry in the recent Tourism Summit held in Pasay City.
“I think, we really need to have a good airport infrastructure system that will be comparable with the facilities of other countries like Singapore or Thailand and with those easy connections, we should be able to attract more tourists,” said Jaime Bautista, president and chief operating officer (COO) of the Philippine Airlines.
“We really need to have a competitive airport infrastructure… We should really fast-track the construction and modernization of the Manila International Airport,” he added.
The government should also focus in developing regional airports, said Jaime Zobel de Ayala, chairman and chief executive officer (CEO) of Ayala Corporation.
“I think if we could upgrade the whole airport system throughout the country, not just the international airport in Manila, which is of course is important, but all of the other regional ones, and make them internationally standard,” he said.
Faster immigration lines and efficient boarding inspection in airports can also lure more tourists, said Arin Jira, chairman of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Business Advisory Council of Thailand.
“When the lines are so light, they’ll love it, they’ll come back; if it’s too long, it discourages them,” he emphasized.
Effective communication skills were also an important element in the tourism industry, especially the English language, said Jira.
“I really commend the Filipino people for language skill because you speak English, you can communicate with the world,” he said.
Jira also stressed that the government should enhance tourism security standards to protect tourists.