Tourism fuels transportation growth

By: Katlene O. Cacho, Sun Star Cebu, 7 July 2013

The region’s vibrant tourism industry fueled the growth last year of the transportation business, particularly shipping, according to the National Economic Development Authority (NEDA) 7.

The agency said the opening of additional flights from the region to other local and international destinations contributed to the growth of the passenger and cargo traffic in the region’s airports.

Aviation statistics in the region show that flights increased by 9.01 percent or 69,836 in 2012 from 64,065 in 2011. Domestic flights grew by 10.33 percent while international flights went up by 1.44 percent.

Passenger traffic grew by 7.02 percent from 7.4 million to 7.9 million last year. Domestic travelers increased by 7.99 percent or 6.4 million while international passengers grew by 3.12 percent or 1.5 million.

Cargo shipment by air grew by 6.59 percent.

New flights by local carriers spurred growth in the aviation industry, NEDA said. Cebu Pacific, for instance, added flights to its Cebu hub to seven destinations, Manila, Boracay, Dipolog, Kalibo, Legazpi, Pagadian and Siargao. It also increased its seat capacity for its Cebu to Bacolod, Cagayan de Oro, Iloilo and General Santos flights and added international flights last year, the twice weekly flights from Cebu to Kuala Lumpur and Bangkok.

New players like Mid-Sea Express and Eagle Trans-Asia Airways, started serving Cebu-Guiuan, Samar and the Cebu-Catarman-Tacloban routes, respectively, last year.

In shipping, NEDA 7 said the industry recorded brisk growth last year. It said it turned in a stronger performance than in 2011, posting double digit growths in both ship calls and cargo traffic.

Shipcalls for both domestic and foreign grew by 17.87 percent while passenger traffic went up by 0.81 percent.

Despite a continuing weak global economy, NEDA 7 reported a surge in the volume of cargo, including container cargo.

Cargo and container traffic registered double-digit growths last year at 22 percent and 14 percent, respectively. NEDA 7 said this is a welcome development after a dismal performance in 2011.

Cacho, K.O. (2013). Tourism fuels transportation growth. Sun Star Cebu.
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