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Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Travel practitioners should come to NAIA 3

VIDEO: http://www.inquirer.net/vdo/player.php?vid=1219&pageID=3

Former tourism secretary Senator Richard Gordon presents a recommendation to the officials of the newly-opened NAIA-3, saying the local government should bring foreign "travel practitioners" to the country to show them the new airport. Video taken by INQUIRER.net reporter Abigail Kwok.

MANILA, Philippines -- To boost the image and reputation of the controversy-ridden Ninoy Aquino International Airport Terminal 3 (NAIA-3), “travel practitioners” across Asia and the country should be brought here to visit the new airport terminal, a former tourism secretary said.

Senator Richard Gordon, who served as head of the Department of Tourism from 2001 to 2003, said on Tuesday that instead of airport officials conducting dry runs, “representatives from travel practitioners in Asia…we should bring them here, pay for their transportation, bring ambassadors from all over Asia so that they can see that we now have a terminal [and] that we made a big step forward.”

NAIA-3 began commercial operations for domestic flights on Tuesday, after almost six years of delay caused by legal constraints.

Gordon said these legal issues should be settled immediately.

“Construction of the NAIA 3 is finished, let’s open it because when the international airlines land here, they will think that they are going to Terminal 3. Then they will ask why are we being taken to another terminal? And then they will find out that there is a controversy, there is corruption,” said Gordon in Filipino.

Gordon added that opening the new airport and ensuring its smooth operations would decrease the amount of criticisms domestic airports have received from local and foreign tourists.

“When they [tourists] go to the domestic airport, we are being criticized. What they think of our airport is worse than what they think of our politics. The criticisms of visitors who come here are worse than their criticisms of our Senate, Congress, and that I think is what we should listen to,” said Gordon.

The partial opening of NAIA-3 for domestic flights was a “great sigh of relief and confidence and pride because we are now showing that not only because other countries in Asia have done it, we have been able to do it,” Gordon said.

‘Travel practitioners’ should come to NAIA-3--ex-DoT chief
By Abigail Kwok
First Posted 16:30:00 07/22/2008


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