LAOAG INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT, Laoag City June 14– Department of Tourism provincial director Ma. Milagros Respicio-Gonzales of Laoag sub-office here announced the arrival here in Laoag City yesterday June 13 of the maiden chartered flight of China Eastern Airlines from Guandong indicating that it now resumed anew its direct flight from mainland China to Ilocos Norte.
Report said the CEA plane, carrying 156 Chinese passengers, touched down at LIA runway exactly 11:28 A.M. yesterday. At the arrival area, grand reception and welcome activities were accorded to the Guandong tourists who enjoyed the presentation of Ilocano folk dances and drum-lyre corps musical numbers, the report added.
It may be recalled that the China direct flight stopped in 2010 due to the infamous bloody hostage-taking incident in Luneta, Manila where several Chinese Hong Kong tourists died in the crossfire.
Ms. Gonzales said the return of the China direct flight will boost our local tourism industry here in Ilocos Norte noting that the resumed CEA chartered flights are scheduled twice a week every Tuesday and Saturday and vice versa.
The Chinese tourists, whose itinerary includes Ilocos Norte and Vigan City in Ilocos Sur, usually stay here for two days, she said.
The tourists will surely enjoy more fun in Ilocos where they can play at the Fort Ilocandia resort and casino, play golf at the Malacanang of the North’s world-class golf course, sand dunes adventure, water sports in pristine beaches and guided tour in the different beautiful spots and historical landmarks in Ilocos, she added.
Our biggest clientele is the Chinese tourist market, Ms. Gonzales told reporters. The inaugural flight yesterday was initiated by the Guandong International Travel Group. Guandong is one of the closest neighbors of the country north of Manila.
She recalled that of all the international airports in the country during the late 1990s, Laoag airport had the biggest number of foreign tourist arrivals because of the heavy volume of Chinese visitors coming to Ilocos Norte.
Meanwhile, Godfrey Ragudo of the Laoag airport manager office reported that LIA will intensify its quarantine operations at the arrival and departure area in the wake of the heightened alert against the deadly Middle East Respiratory Syndrome-Corona Virus now affecting some countries abroad. (ndg with rm, ga, jg reports)