File photo by CARFormoso

The City Tourism Office (CTO) is confident that there will be an increase in cruise ship calls in Puerto Princesa from the initial 14 on schedule this year.

CTO chief Aileen Cynthia Amurao said Monday during the welcoming of the Royal Air inaugural flight at the Puerto Princesa City International Airport (PPCIA) that out of 14 cruise ships expected this year, seven have already made port calls in the city.

“Seven na ang dumating, and we are expecting around 14. Meron pang dumadagdag dyan and we are very optimistic na kapag natapos ‘yong mga permitting system at kung swertihin tayo baka we can have the weekly arrivals,” Amurao said to Palawan News.

The recent port call was made on March 3 by Regent’s Seven Seas Navigator, a luxury cruise ship operated by Regent Seven Seas Cruises.

The next port calls will be on March 12 and March 20, she said.

Amurao said that over the years, cruise ship tourism has played a critical role in the local economy that is why the city government is keen on constructing a port that would specifically cater to the sector.

“Ongoing ang construction ng ating cruise ship port, nasa Phase 1 pa lang ‘yan. Foundation pa lang, tapos may ibang phases pa ‘yan. It will take mga around two years pa ata,” she added.

In a separate interview, CTO promotion and marketing division chief Michie Meneses, said they are optimistic there will be more arrivals in Puerto Princesa in the next cruise ship season.

“Initially 14 kasi ‘yong mga passengers kaya naman sila nandito dahil winter doon sa lugar nila. Ngayong okay na, syempre bawas. Hopefully, next cruising season baka may darating nanaman sa atin,” Hitosis said.

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