[smartads] MANILA, Philippines – There are a number of provincial areas whose tourism plans and programs have been set back a decade or two. One of them is Calbayog City. The primordial reason is that two domestic airlines have abandoned their routes to those places.
All the preparations in putting together travel and tourism infrastructures that would have positioned those cities in the domestic tourism market are gone to naught.
The biggest minus-factor, it is conceded, is that prospective visitors are turned off and go elsewhere when told that the only remaining carrier has already an advanced two-week reservation list.
In the hospitality industry, a day of delay is considered a loss of valuable business.
To think that improvements in tourists’ facilities in those areas were undertaken by private individuals as investors. Hotels, inns, restaurants, resorts are there, but empty rooms are waiting for customers.
As far as residents of these areas are concerned, all the government’s hype and hoopla — ”It’s more fun …,” airport modernization program, domestic tourism marketing, and so forth — are meaningless.
Take the case of Calbayog. The city government had prepared for visitors and travelers regularly coming for a visit. It upgraded some tourism wherewithal, keeping its streets and government buildings in top sanitary condition. New hotels and restaurants were built, not counting new hospitals. Peace and order condition is well-placed.
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21 thoughts on “Deserted Destinations”
Most International flights arrive later in the morning or evenings and the flights for Calbayog leave early in the morning so you still spend day in Manila or airport.
I don’t like hanging around in Manila either when I’d rather be back in Calbayog with my wife. Fortunately I can visit some friends in Manila to pass the time. Last time I flew on China Air and it was scheduled to arrive at 4:30am so I didn’t have to hang around in Manila…in theory, lol, because they arrived late and I missed the Cebu Pacific flight to Tacloban where my wife was waiting for me…
In Theory, that was good Mark. Where did you take the China Air flight from? Arriving at 0430 seems like the ideal time, if it arrives on time. I may have to look into that. In fact I’m going to do it just as soon as I press “Reply”. Here I go.
China Air MNL-LAX-MNL is usually $1,022.90. That seems like a very competitive price to me, but I’ll bet I can get better. I didn’t see any arriving at 0430 though. I’ll have to dig deeper later.
There was a short layover in Taipei and that’s where it went wrong. They had to do some shifting of the baggage which delayed our takeoff just enough to miss my connection. I’ll have to look at my tix to see the actual times. I might have it mixed up with a United flight I took in February, lol.
Oh I forgot to mention that when taking Plane Always Late. We was to take off at 10:00 PM but plane was delayed until 01:00 from LAX. Had to walk clear across terminal to new gate and bused to plane because they did not want to pay gate fee. Never explained why plane was delayed.
I hate it when they change the gate that way. We have not had to do it too many times though. The longest walk to a new gate was at LAX though, a few years ago. I noticed at NAIA this last time there were at least 3 gate changes announced, some of those a healthy walk. Ours was not affected though. It seems that they were all Cebu Pacific too, but that doesn’t affect my willingness to fly with them. I like their sales too much. But I’m not stuck on them. If I find a flight cheaper somewhere else, I’ll take it.
My wife tells me it is less hassle to take direct flight from LAX to Tacloban and cheaper on PAL then flight to Calbayog. We had 2hr wait in Manila before flight to Tacloban and then 4.5 hrs on Grand tour to Calbayog. Usually we take different international flight to Philippines because PAL is the most expense from LAX. But if you add in 1 to 2 day wait in Manila for flight to Calbayog,hotel and cost they charge for excess luggage it probable comes out about the same according to my wife.
I think it’s less hassle too, but since it now seems there are flights 7 days per week on PhilAir, couldn’t you just make reservations online before you arrive? I’m pretty sure my wife doesn’t care about the little bit of difference because of the flights into Calbayog having to be the props. We just do the same thing you do George. As you say, it’s less hassle. I may check into the airport at Catarman though and see if they receive jets there. Mark says he heard it was a little bit shorter trip on Grand Tour from there.
Flights departing for manila from calbayog sure makes planning to catch the connector flight out much more easier. Before you really had to think about what flight to get out of calbayog so you werent sitting in manila for 18 hours waiting for a flight. And beleive me i have done that many times.
Air phills flies in and out of calbayog daily now. 7 days a week.
That’s what I thought. It doesn’t get any better than that!
I just read the accompanying article and now I’m kind of depressed. It was a pain in the butt to get there before and now even Zest has bailed out on the city? Not that their service was great but it’s better than the bus or flying to Tacloban and taking a van. Looks like AirPhil still lists Catarman but CepuPac doesn’t. Less and less options for getting home conveniently. How did you fly in John?
What happened to AirPhil from Manila or Cebu?
I think AirPhil still has a route, but it is limited to once or twice a week. I’ll check on that too.
What about the Eagle Trans Asia Airways? They are here, but I’m not sure if they have their own planes or they are just a ticket office for others. They have a sign in their office last time I was there that says, “Be the first to fly with ETA Air”. I’ll have to double check on that while I’m downtown getting hotel and restaurant updates.
We normally just take a flight to Tacloban and ride Grand Tour to Calbayog. Lita doesn’t like the small prop planes.
The article said AirPhils has a 10 day waiting period for seats on flights to Calbayog because they are always full. We’ve done that Tacloban trip a few times but it complicates things with the ferry time table. Now with the apartment in the city it shouldn’t be that big a deal. I heard the van trip from Catmaran is a little shorter.
Actually, I kinda like Calbayog City just the way it is, with slow calculated and managed growth. With the addition of a coming mall and major grocery operation will come other business and opportunity. Calbayog will have everything we need without the hustle and bustle that we are attempting to elude. Retirement means slowing down, not going faster! The advertising slogan for Samar will continue to tease those who ave never looked here; DISCOVER SAMAR ISLAND…Before others do!!!
I like Calbayog the way it is too. If they just decide to build that one mall here or at least a decent supermarket, then I would not complain at all.
I really like the small town feel that Calbayog has. A nice mall to window shop in or find something not available at the usual places would be nice though. My wife would probably still like that occasional trip to Cebu or Manila though.
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