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Tourism sector ‘growth engine’ of Central Luzon economy

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Tourism sector ‘growth engine’ of Central Luzon economy

CITY OF SAN FERNANDO, Pampanga, Feb. 22 (PIA) — National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) branded the tourism sector as growth engine for the rise in investments in Central Luzon.
 
NEDA OIC-Assistant Regional Director Divina Hope Vallejo said tourism has amplified foreign and local investments.
 
“What we see is there are those who invest in tourism. It is one of the biggest contributors in the income of the government. It will be easy for us to recover because we are infrastructure-based. Region 3 has projects lined up for major strategic infrastructures especially in Clark which would help to give employment if the economy opened,” she explained.
 
The official shared that the region is top in investment from first to third quarter of 2020.
 
With this, Vallejo said that the region is developing the tourism industry by making Central Luzon as the center of Meetings, Incentives, Conferences, and Exhibitions or MICE.
 
“We are capable of being the center of MICE because we have so many facilities especially in Clark. The New Clark City and Clark International Airport will be the engines for that initiative,” she said.

National Economic and Development Authority OIC-Assistant Regional Director Divina Hope Vallejo (right) projects Central Luzon to be the center of meetings, incentives, conferences, and exhibitions with the New Clark City and Clark International Airport facilities as projects enabling the initiative. (Jag Lyra D. Costamero/PIA 3)

However, due to the pandemic, Vallejo said that the passenger traffic in Clark International Airport declined by 76 percent with only 941,532 in 2020, compared to the 4,000,211 in 2019.
 
“The decline of flights in the airport is just saddening because it has a steady increase before the pandemic. The slope of flight volume is increasing, but it suddenly decreases. We are really hinged in the successful roll out of vaccines,” she explained.
 
The passenger flight volume in the airport also declined by 75% with only 8,920 commercial flights in 2020, compared to the 35,738 commercial flights in 2019.
 
Under the Build Build Build program, the New Clark City Food Processing Terminal and International Food Market, and New Clark City – Mixed-use Industrial Real Estate Development are ongoing projects.
 
Also, the Clark International Airport New Passenger Terminal Building will double the airport’s capacity to 8 million passengers annually. (CLJD/JLDC-PIA 3)