The SOCCSKSARGEN (South Cotabato, Cotabato, Sultan Kudarat and Sarangani, plus General Santos City) region is going to see an influx of tourists soon. This is because Philippine Airlines (PAL) launched a new Cebu-General Santos (Gensan) route at the General Santos International Airport.
PAL now flies from Cebu to Gensan at 8:30 a.m. on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays. It also flies at 12:50 p.m. on Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays, and Sundays. From Gensan, it flies back to Cebu at 10:20 a.m. on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays. It flies at 2:40 p.m. on Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays and Sundays.
Nelly Nita Dillera, regional director of Department of Tourism 12, had an optimistic assessment of the new route during its launch. Dillera said the new route is an indication of the growth of General Santos City and SOCCSKSARGEN. She says an “airline won’t open a route to a destination if it is uncertain of a return of investment.”
Ryan Uy, PAL’s vice-president for sales, affirmed this. “The sizable traffic between Gensan and Cebu” was a reason for opening the new route, he said. Uy expects the new route will boost the tourism in General Santos City, as well as the development of Cebu as a secondary hub of their operation.
The SOCCSKSARGEN region definitely has a lot to offer when it comes to tourism. Some of the tourist spots in the area are Gumasa beach in Glan, Sarangani, Lake Holon in Tboli, South Cotabato, and Tuka Marine Park in Kiamba, Sarangani. Other tourist destinations are Mount Apo, the country’s highest peak, and the Grand Mosque in Cotabato City.
PAL has also launched new routes aside from this Cebu-Gensan route. These new routes are Cebu-Puerto Princesa, Cebu-Coron, Cebu-Surigao, and Cebu-Clark.