Philippine Airlines now serving Toronto

Philippine Airlines has begun three-times-a-week Manila-Toronto service, with the frequency to be upgraded to four times a week in mid-January and daily in March. And tourism officials hope that the carrier’s now serving both Vancouver and the Ontario capital will help the Philippines attract more Canadians to their country, raising the possibility of reopening a tourism office in this country. The Philippines had a Toronto tourism office, but closed it several years ago. “We will seriously look at opening an office here in Toronto,”Benito Bengzon, the country’s assistant secretary, international tourism promotions, told a Toronto audience Monday. The Philippines expects to see 120,000 people from this country visit in 2012. Just under half of those visiting have family ties to the Philippines, while a little over a third are leisure travellers. Tourism authorities hope that the Toronto service will lead to 150,000 visits in 2013. Flights from Toronto to Manila stop in Vancouver, while Manila-Toronto service is non-stop. The airline is promising “innovative packages”for Canadians.