It’s good to know that our home country has it’s own share of extensive superhighways that’s shortening travelers’ journey time .
This should augur well for Philippine tourism. It should make Tourism Secretary Christina Frasco’s thrusts more achievable.
In fact, I heard the DOT goal of 1.7 million tourist arrivals this year has already been attained two months ago.
I’ve used the NLEX along with my family in trips to the northern provinces and I tell you it’s been a pleasurable experience.
I was impressed that from the Balintawak (Quezon City) toll gate, we were already in Carmen (Pangasinan) in two hours. It used to be at least 3 hours via the Dau exit. That was before NLEX was extended further north.
Now, this superhighway goes up to and ends in Rosario, La Union. This part of NLEX is actually connected to the Subic-Clark-Tarlac Express or SCTex then to what is called TPLEX, short for Tarlac-Pangasinan-La Union Expressway.
The first extension that extends from the Dau section northward is known as SCTEX which means Subic-Clark- Tarlac Expressway.
I heard plans to prolong the freeway more up to Ilocos Sur, or maybe up to Pagudpud in Ilocos Norte, whose Boracay-like beaches are the North’s premier tourist drawer. In fact, this northernmost town of the Ilocos is known as the “Boracay of the North.”
President Bongbong Marcos may yet make this happen, considering his aggressive stance and support for the tourism industry.
I wish PBBM would complement this with a serious effort to spruce up and upgrade the region’s local airports to meet international standards and, consequently, make them worthy for overseas flights. The same attention should be accorded to the rest of the country’s airports that aren’t yet international flight-capable.
Previous administrations’ airport improvements in the provinces had been limited.
It’s time to open up and regularize all local airports for international flights if we want to attract hordes and more hordes of tourists to our beautiful islands.
Let’s face it but we haven’t reached yet our full potential in the revenue-making tourism industry. The complaint is that visitors waste much time going to and from, and, between places they want to see especially where there are no superhighways.
Tourists have limited time and they make sure their allotted stay would allow them to literally cover as much ground as possible.This is not possible if they travel long hours.
They have a bucket list of places they want to see but long hours of travel discourage them. Other countries benefit from this, our own’s handicap.
Oops! There was an error in my previous column. The personality I wrote about is Pablito Sanidad, not Pablo Sanidad as was mistakenly stated in the printed edition of the newspaper. The same is corrected promptly in the online version through the Philippine News Today website, www. pnewstoday.com.
Sorry for the mistake dear readers especially Mayor Sanidad and his townmates in the United States who are regular readers of this paper. I sent the mayor the online edition which came out with his name spelled correctly. I’m thankful to our editor in chief for acting promptly.