by ODON S. BANDIOLA
If the diplomatic row with Taiwan continues over the killing of aTaiwanese fisherman in Philippine waters, Aklan tourism will lose some P3.2 billion in tourism receipts this year.
Taiwanese tourists are second to the South Koreans in number visiting the resort Island of Boracay.
The Taiwanese visitors constitute 22.54 percent of the total foreign tourist arrivals in the paradise island of Aklan.
Of the 409,408 total foreign tourist arrivals in Boracay in 2012, 92,209 were Taiwanese, next to the South Koreans who numbered 156,445 last year.
From January to April this year, total Taiwanese arrivals in Boracay already is 31,700 with the highest of 12,004 registered in April.
Kalibo International Airport Manager Percy Malonesio, in an interview with RGMA-DYRU Kalibo reported the cancellation of chartered flights of international carriers, Chinese Mandarin Airlines and Zest Air.
Chinese Mandarin Airlines fly twice a week direct from Taiwan to Kalibo while Zest Air planes fly six (6) times a week through the same route.
The Philippines Airline management is already meeting to decide on possible cancellation of the carrier’s Taiwan-Kalibo flights, Malonesio added.
The total foreign and domestic tourist arrivals last year in Boracay registered 1.2 million translated into some P23 billion in tourism receipts.
Asian arrivals outnumber Americans, Australians, Russians and Europeans in Boracay last year.
Asian arrivals is topped by the South Koreans with 156,445, Taiwanese-92,209, Chinese (mainland)-82,358, Hongkong-7,439 and Japanese-7,327.
American visitors last year in the island numbered 18,283, Russians-14,725, Australians-14, 473, Germans-7,409 and British-8,382. /MP