MANILA - Many Filipinos are eager to travel again but they have become more "intentional" with how and where they spend their money as rising inflation shrinks funds for leisure spending, according to a study released by travel e-commerce platform Klook.
At least 87 percent of Filipinos surveyed by Klook are eager to travel again, according to the company's Travel Pulse study conducted in late 2022.
Out of this, 17 percent have made the bookings, which is considered moderate compared to other markets, Klook Philippines and Thailand General Manager Michelle Ho said in a briefing.
The study also showed that 44 percent of Filipino outbound travelers now prefer longer durations with 6 to 9 days, Ho said. Forty percent prefer to travel by 3 to 5 days and 38 percent for 1 to 2 days.
"We realized how resilient the travel industry is in such as way that despite these macroeconomic conditions preventing people to have that discretionary spending that they used to have pre-COVID, people are still choosing whatever savings that they have to travel," Ho told ABS-CBN News.
"We're seeing that a lot of Filipinos are choosing longer duration for travel and that forms part of I would say traveling less frequently but more intentional. More intentional travel is the one thing that we're seeing," she added.
Although 79 percent of Filipino travelers surveyed are still anxious to travel, the study showed that 75 percent are "willing to spend some amount" to travel, Klook said.
Domestic bookings grew 87 percent in 2022, overshooting the pre-pandemic levels, the study showed.
Boracay is still a top destination in the country, followed by Tagaytay, Cebu, Clark and Subic but Klook said it is developing other cities such as Baguio and Iloilo and other areas across the country.
Ho said the platform is now present in 21 cities in the country, which is more than its footprint before the pandemic.
For international travel, Singapore, Japan and Hong Kong are popular for Filipinos. Hong Kong bookings grew 230 percent in January after it reopened, the study showed.
DIGITIZING TRAVEL INDUSTRY
Ho said the platform is helping the sector scale up by increasing discoverability of tour operators and other tourism-related services by digitizing bookings for activities, events, transport, services and hotels, among others.
Overall bookings for water activities in Boracay rose 75 percent in the fourth quarter of 2022 with 70 percent of total revenue coming from domestic market, Klook data showed.
Sky Ranch in Tagaytay, meanwhile, sold over 50,000 tickets due to Klook's instant confirmation, it said.
"Digital technology is a powerful tool that can benefit the majority if done right, and we will continue to introduce platform enhancements to improve our customers' travel experiences and make it easier to discover and book anything via Klook," Ho said.
She said Klook has also created value-for-money products to help Filipinos make the most out of their travel funds.
During the pandemic, the platform created the Klook Pass, which consolidates travel services, activities and other essentials into one pass, giving users up to 30 to 40 percent savings. This is available in Boracay, Ho said.