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06 December 2008

Hanafil to fly in foreign golfers next year

Subic golf course operator Hanafil Golf and Tour Inc. is now preparing to fly in golfers from various parts of the world after the company began the re-development of the golf links here into a venue for professional tourneys.

Hanafil president and CEO Benjamin John Defensor III said the firm will tap an international airline to accommodate “junket flights” for golfers.

”We want to fully utilize the advantage of Subic Bay Freeport's location by using the Subic Bay International Airport (SBIA) as the entry point for international golfers," Defensor said.

"We are now working out a deal with an international airline to ferry golfers to Subic by January next year," he added.

As planned, the so-called junket flights will be twice a week and using airliners capable of ferrying some 180 passengers, Defensor revealed.

Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority (SBMA) Administrator Armand Arreza, meanwhile, said the entry of foreign golfers in Subic would certainly boost Subic’s tourism industry.

“It has been awhile since we had junket flights, which were organized previously by casinos to bring in players from all over Asia. This will be the first time that junket flights will be used to ferry golfers,” he added.

Arreza also expressed optimism that foreign golfers would enjoy playing in Subic, especially since Hanafil had initiated renovation of the Subic golf course to make it at par with some of the world’s best.

Hanafil’s Defensor said the company has recently installed a new irrigation system, built a new restaurant, and acquired new golf carts to upgrade amenities at the 18-hole course. It has also built its own nursery as part of the program to expand the course by an additional nine holes.

Defensor added that the expansion of the fairways was meant to accommodate the growing number of golfers coming into Subic Bay.

He added that the recent opening of the Subic-Clark-Tarlac Expressway (SCTEX) drew a remarkable increase in the number of golfers playing at Hanafil’s newly-renovated course, especially during long weekends.

Hanafil is a subsidiary of Hanatour, a company listed in both the London Stock Exchange and the Korean Stock Exchange. Hanafil, on the other hand, is a Philippine corporation registered with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). (SBMA Corporate Communications)

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