Despite the new COVID-19 surge, 7 out of 10 Filipinos still want to push through with their planned air travel in the next nine months.
This was the finding of an AirAsia Philippines-commissioned survey made by big-data analytics firm, Tangere. The survey, conducted in December 2021, covered 1,605 respondents aged 18 to 60 in Metro Manila, Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao.
The bulk, 60 percent of total survey respondents intend to travel domestically, with Palawan (77 percent ), Boracay (69 percent), Cebu (58 percent), Siargao (57 percent) and Bohol (52 percent) topping the list of preferred destinations.
Davao also ranked high among Visayan travelers, getting the thumbs up of 52 percent of pollees from the region.
Should authorities relax international border restrictions this 2022, five out of 10 Filipinos are ready to travel abroad, picking Seoul, South Korea (78 percent); Singapore (73 percent); and Osaka, Osaka, Japan (71 percent) as their must-visits.
The survey results revealed that Filipinos want to travel in smaller groups in 2022, opting to go with their families (69 percent ), partners (40 percent) and close friends (24 percent) over work colleagues, solo trips and group tours.
Results also showed that some Filipinos seek to reconnect with loved ones whom they have not seen in two years of isolation during the lockdown.
Majority, or 53 percent of respondents cited the need to be with families and friends as the main reason for deciding to push through with their travel.
The need for a vacation was the reason given by 52 percent of respondents while confidence in the LGU control of COVID-19 accounted for 49 percent.
Furthermore, the total cost of travel strongly influenced the plans of Filipino tourists this year.
Only 13 percent of the respondents are willing to spend P30,001 to P40,000 in total for their travel.
A total of 15 percent limit their budget to P15,000 to P20,000 while 38 percent areconly willing to spend below P14,999.
Given the economic impact of Covid-19, the long list of essentials in a pandemic, as well as the need to grow personal emergency funds, their frugality is expected.
In line with this, Filipinos keep an eye out for bang-for-buck offers to help them in their trips, like complete tour package deals of Flights + Hotel + Tours and Activities (66 percent ), discounted Flight + Hotel bundles (61percent ), and discounted Food + Activities bundles (59 percent).
Among the respondents, those who hail from Mindanao have shown higher interest in these kinds of deals.
Not surprisingly, AirAsia Philippines reported a positive 11 percent increase in seat sales on a week-on-week basis in the first week of January, 2022.
The top five destinations which contributed to increased seat sales include Tacloban, Cebu, Caticlan, Panglao and Davao.
“We are observing an uptrend in long-term bookings which signifies a more positive outlook on travel plans this year,” according to Ricky Isla, chief executive officer of AirAsia Philippines.
“But we are not letting our guards down. We will be consistent in prioritizing the safety and well-being of our guests as they fly to their intended destinations,” he concluded.