A local airline has launched a new flight to Nueva Vizcaya, home of the world-famous Banaue Rice Terraces during a recent tourism trade fair in Berlin, Germany, the Internationale Tourismus Borse (ITB).

The Department of Tourism (DOT) said the new flight of Wakay Air Services from Clark International Airport to Bagabag Airport in Nueva Vizcaya is among the Philippines’ newest offerings.

DOT Director for the Cordillera Administrative Region (CAR) Marie Venus Tan said this flight will cut by more than half the usual land travel time from Manila to Banaue that normally takes up from six to eight hours.

The flights, which will take approximately one hour, will commence in May this year. It will start with a four-flight weekly schedule on board a 38-seater Dornier plane.

Tan said the special offer includes a four-day, three-night journey to the Banaue Rice Terraces.

She said the Cordilleras is Nueva Vizcaya’s strongest selling point because visitors can experience genuine and truly meaningful cultural immersions that benefit the host communities.

“The Cordilleras is all about tradition and ethnic culture. This is also something we can be very proud of,” Tan said.

Teo, meanwhile, said that there was no better occasion to launch the new route than in the ITB.

She said that she expects the new flight to complement activities being promoted in the European market, particularly for travelers who seek cultural immersion in the Philippines.

The Banaue Rice Terraces, sometimes dubbed as “the eighth wonder of the world,” is known for its immensity and height of 1,500 meters above sea level. It was built by Ifugao ancestors some 2,000 years ago and listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1995. (PNA) LAM/ANP