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After two-year pandemic pause

Transport hubs brace for ‘revenge travelers’

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MANILA, Philippines — The Holy Week holidays are sure to trigger a surge in revenge travel—or the rush for bookings for trips and vacations in this pandemic era—going by the crowd of passengers being anticipated in just one transport hub.

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The Department of Transportation has designated the period of Palm Sunday, April 10, until April 18 as “Oplan Biyaheng Ayos: Summer Vacation 2022,” in line with the government’s efforts to revive the travel and tourism industries.

Daily passengers at the Parañaque Integrated Terminal Exchange (PITX) are currently at 91,000 and could swell up to 110,000 this Holy Week, according to corporate affairs head Jason Salvador.

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“We expect an increase of around 20 percent to 25 percent so maybe we will hit 100,000 to 110,000 every day from Saturday toward [Maundy] Thursday,” he said at the Laging Handa briefing.

But Salvador foresees passenger volume dropping on Good Friday, April 15, before it increases again on Easter Sunday.He said PITX is ready for the influx of passengers this Holy Week.

‘No leave’ policy

The Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines (CAAP) also said airports in the country are prepared for the volume of travelers during the Holy Week and the start of the summer vacation period.

All 12 area managers handling the 42 CAAP-managed airports with commercial flights nationwide have guaranteed that they would observe maximum deployment of service and security personnel.They also said a “no leave” policy for airport personnel will be implemented during Oplan Biyaheng Ayos.

The government’s campaign aims to ensure ease in travel around the country as well as the safety of passengers.

CAAP Director General Jim Sydiongco said airports continue to implement guidelines on the prevention of the spread of COVID-19, as well as security measures to maintain safe, reliable and convenient operations for the passengers.

The agency has coordinated with airlines and local authorities regarding the efficient processing of passengers, especially at check-in counters.

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With the current easing of travel restrictions, the CAAP now expects domestic travel to peak beyond the 5 percent to 8 percent increase in travelers expected annually since the pandemic.

Last year, there were 5,136,075 arrivals in commercial airports operated by the agency. This was an 82-percent drop from the 29,258,258 in 2019, before the pandemic year of 2020.

CAAP-operated airports recorded only 6,791,752 passengers that year.

For the Lenten periods of 2019 until 2021, the CAAP recorded 2,750,007; 15,990; and 231,479 passengers, respectively.

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TAGS: Department of Transportation (DOTr), Holy Week, revenge travel, Tourism
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