By Tyrone Jasper C. Piad
Filipinos are excited to travel around the country and abroad this year amid the easing of border restrictions, according to digital travel platform Klook Philippines, which is projecting a 27-percent growth in bookings due to growing tourism activities.
Michelle Ho, country manager of Klook, said in a press briefing on Tuesday in Makati that 87 percent of the Filipinos it surveyed expressed interest to travel this year and 17 percent of them already booked a holiday trip.
“We are very optimistic about travel. One thing is for sure: the industry is very resilient, people are wanting to travel,” Ho said.
The top local destinations are Boracay, Manila, Tagaytay, Cebu, Clark and Subic. Popular foreign travel spots, meanwhile, are Singapore, Japan and Hong Kong.
“We are seeing a strong and fast recovery especially for Hong Kong since its reopening and we are expecting a continued double-digit growth in the next months,” Ho said.
Klook observed that booking for Hong Kong flights rose by 230 percent in January from the previous month.
Filipinos, who prefer to allot six to nine days for travel, usually visit theme parks and participate in water sports, the study noted. Despite the spark in travel interest, some 79 percent of Filipinos were “feeling anxious about traveling,” which Ho attributed to others’ reluctance to go out still due to dampened travel confidence amid the pandemic.
Majority or 75 percent of the Filipino travelers, nonetheless, expressed willingness to “spend the same amount or even more just for travel.”
Klook, which is currently available in 21 cities in the country, is an online platform where travelers can book tickets to attractions, organize tours and reserve hotel accommodations. This year, the app operator is keen on growing its hotel portfolio to address the growing tourism market.