By Hanah Tabios
Having an increased online visibility is now a necessary condition to thrive in the new normal scenario.
This was among the main recommendations of the recent Philippine Travel Survey which aims to generate insights on Filipino traveler’s sentiments on the new setting.
The results said the future of tourism strongly relies on the creative use of technology, which would require a strong online presence and a robust website that would engage the digital-savvy Filipino market to avail tourism products.
“Tourism Micro, Small, Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) should also maximize the features of social media platforms through targeted and systematic blasting,” it said.
Among the key insights revealed in the survey said that respondents across all age groups, from 20 to 40 years old, overwhelmingly favor online channels to make travel arrangements. This also strengthens the campaign of the tourism department toward contactless transactions to ensure safety for all.
“In the new normal, reduced-contact channels become more relevant,” it added, with self-service processes is a strong expectation by majority of travelers.
But above anything else, the survey results said the rebuilding of trust and confidence in travel should be the main priority for tourism enterprises, especially now that the industry has been slowly and gradually resuming its tourism operations at a reduced capacity.
It said the likelihood of travel lies on the assurance of the travelers’ safety.
Tourism chief Bernadette Romulo-Puyat said the DOT endeavors to provide all the support it can give to tourism enterprises to regain the trust of travelers who are willing to come out of their homes and explore the country within the next six months, according to the survey results.
The survey results also suggest that tourism enterprises must also review and recalibrate their value proposition based on the changing demands of travelers given the realities of the post-pandemic setup.
“Focus on personalized, engaging, story-rich, and technology driven tourism,” it said.
This recommendation was also echoed by Tourism Congress of the Philippines (TCP) President Jojo Garcia, who said that travelers in the new normal will surely be looking for more experiential activities which will dive into culture, history, and even farm tourism.
But all these will only prosper if there is a collaborative approach among all tourism stakeholders.
“Collaboration among tourism stakeholders is critical to the success of the tourism recovery. Stakeholders need to strengthen their coordination mechanisms with particular attention given to the most vulnerable destinations and segments of the industry,” the results said.