The Department of Transportation’s (DOTr) big ticket infrastructure projects will boost tourism in far-flung areas and unlock economic potentials in the provinces, according Transportation Secretary Jaime Bautista.

During the general membership meeting of the Philippine IATA Agents Travel Association (PIATA) on Wednesday, February 15, Secretary Bautista touted the transport projects being undertaken by the agency will help cement the Philippines as a prime tourism destination and ensure tourists enjoy their travel and vacation.

“Improving and modernizing the country’s transportation system will be crucial to ensure tourists enjoy their travel and vacation experience,” Secretary Bautista pointed out.

The DOTr and Department of Tourism (DOT) are also working together to boost tourist arrivals and encourage foreign tourists to visit the Philippines, Secretary Bautista said.

“We are closely coordinating with the Department of Tourism towards boosting tourist arrivals,” he said.

The transport chief cited big ticket projects in the aviation, railways, maritime and road sector for improving mobility and connectivity across the country and maximize tourism opportunities.

To accommodate local and foreign tourists, Secretary Bautista noted several airport projects such as the newly-opened passenger terminal building of the Clark International Airport (CRK), the construction of the New Manila International Airport in Bulacan and Sangley Point International Airport in Cavite, and the improvements of the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) and Bicol International Airport.

Railway projects, according to Secretary Bautista, will also unlock the economic potential of the northern and southern provinces, while moving more passengers and at the same time addressing traffic congestion in the country’s capital.

Among the railway projects being constructed in full swing are the North-South Commuter Railway (NSCR) Project, Metro Manila Subway Project, Common Station, MRT-7, LRT-1 Cavite Extension, PNR North and South Long-Haul Project, Subic-Clark Railway, and the Mindanao Railway.

To ease the mobility requirements of commuters, the DOTr will also improve the services of the EDSA Busway.

In the maritime sector, the DOTr and Philippine Ports Authority (PPA) are improving commercial and social-tourism ports to efficiently move passengers and goods, while lowering logistic costs and shipping fees. (DOTr)