DOT announces flights to Banaue rice terraces via Clark
The Department of Tourism has announced a new air route to the world-renowned Banaue rice terraces via the Clark International Airport.
The DOT, led by Secretary Wanda Teo, disclosed the offering in the Internationale Tourismus Borse in Messe Berlin. The offer includes a four-day and three-night trip to the rice terraces from Clark, Pampanga to the Bagabag Airport in Nueva Vizcaya.
The flight from Clark to Nueva Vizcaya will take about an hour, while the rice terraces site is accessible within an hour from the Bagabag Airport.
“There’s no better occasion to launch a new air route than in the world’s grandest tourism trade fair. This will complement the activities we are promoting in the European market, particularly for travelers who seek cultural immersion in the Philippines,” Teo said in a statement.
According to Marie Venus Tan, DOT’s director for the Cordillera Administrative Region, the special offer will cut by half the usual travel time from Manila to Banaue by land, which would take about six to eight hours.
“The Cordilleras is all about tradition and ethnic culture. This is our strongest selling point because our visitors can experience genuine and truly meaningful cultural immersions that benefit the host communities. This is also something we can be very proud of,” Tan said.
The flights through Wakay Air Services will start in May, with a four-flight weekly schedule on board a 38-seater Dornier plane.
Although there are numerous rice terraces throughout Asia, the Banaue rice terraces earned the monicker “the eighth wonder of the world” because of its immensity and height of 1500 meters above sea level, as built by the Ifugao ancestors some 2,000 years ago, fed by an ancient irrigation system from the mountain rainforest.
The Banaue rice terraces were recognized by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) as a World Heritage Site in 1995. It was placed on the List of World Heritage in Danger because of neglect and degradation, but was eventually removed from the said list in 2012. JE