'Revenge travel' high among Southeast Asians: Google


Posted at Apr 29 2022 09:27 AM

MANILA -- Southeast Asians are highly likely to go on "revenge travel" to make the most of lost time and opportunities during the pandemic, according to Google.

Citing their own data in the previous month, Google Asia Pacific travel lead Hermione Joye said in a recent media briefing that the phenomenon "really sits in Southeast Asia."

"We started this phenomenon coming to life in Australia in Q4 (fourth quarter) and now, as we pivot to openness and the reduction of restrictions in Southeast Asia, we see a huge amount of travelers that are wanting to get out there quickly and experience the world," she said, describing "revenge travelers" as people who "really felt the emotional effects of lockdowns and want to explore again." 

"In Southeast Asia in particular, we've seen an increase of search interests in where to travel in the last month of 336% versus last year. This is just massive and mindblowing," she added. 

"And it's not just in one market, we can see this type of growth across Southeast Asia -- Singapore, Malaysia, Philippines, all included."

Joye went on to note the emerging preferences of Southeast Asian travelers, which include digital embeddedness, more detailed itineraries, longer holidays, luxury stays, and sustainable options.

"Because they've already been out and about... they're now starting to pivot to city options such as Singapore, London, and Dubai," she said. "These are all top demand countries and we're seeing all that in our data in the past month."

"When they're in these cities, they are reverting back to classic itineraries. They want to see culture, they want to understand the history of each city, they want to explore the food, be within the community, and once again be proper tourists," she added. 

According to Google, the top destinations searched by users in the Philippines in March 2022 for outbound international travel include Singapore, Dubai, Los Angeles, New York, and London.

Top locations for domestic demand, on the other hand, include Tagaytay, Baguio, Manila, Laguna, Boracay, and Cebu.

Google also noted that the Philippines had the highest inbound travel demand in the region, citing search volumes, with most visitors coming from the United States, United Arab Emirates, Canada, Australia, and Japan.

The Philippines started welcoming foreign tourists in February, after being shut down for almost two years.