Domestic travel remains top preference among Filipinos

Published May 21, 2022, 2:00 PM

by Manila Bulletin

But relaxed borders see Filipinos flocking to international destinations

Booking data from travel platform Agoda reveals that visiting domestic destinations remains a priority for Filipinos. But as borders continue to open globally, Philippine-based travelers are keen now more than ever to explore international destinations.

In 2019, before travel was heavily restricted, countries that followed the Philippines as a top travel destination among Filipino travelers were Japan (second), Hong Kong (third), and Taiwan (fourth). This year, these three were replaced by Singapore, the US, and Thailand, respectively. This change also signifies major ranking leaps for Singapore, which was in sixth place in 2019, as well as for the US, which placed ninth.

Compared to 2019 where Asian countries dominated the Philippines’ top destinations list, Filipinos in 2022 have set their sights on European countries like France, Spain, Italy, the UK, and Switzerland.

On the international front, Filipinos, Malaysians, and Indonesians are flocking to countries with cooler weather with the UK and the US appearing as choice destinations. India, on the other hand, seeks out a warmer climate, with Maldives taking the top spot followed by the United Arab Emirates.

The top destinations this year also indicate that travelers are opting to travel further, with countries like France, Turkey, Germany, and United Arab Emirates emerging as top destination choices.

Hotel De Oriente at Las Casas Filipinas De Acuzar

A further comparison between booking data from 2019 and data from 2022 showed a shift in the top 10 destination choices for each country. Japan was among the top destination choices in 2019, ranking second most desired destination for the Philippines and third for Malaysia, Singapore, and Indonesia travelers. This year, however, Japan slipped out of the top 10 list as the country remains closed to tourists. Other 2019 favorites such as China and Hong Kong also did not make the top 10 list this year with existing border closures. This indicates that countries that have been quick to ease restrictions and open their doors stand to gain from international tourist arrivals during this period.

The top destinations this year also indicate that travelers are opting to travel further, with countries like France, Turkey, Germany, and United Arab Emirates emerging as top destination choices. Switzerland, known for rich milky chocolate and mesmerizing alpine scenery has etched itself into the top 10 destinations list for all markets.

With most countries now transitioning to endemicity, the complete easing of restrictions comes as a breath of fresh air and delight for many.

The month of May is popular among eager travelers across Southeast Asia from Singapore to Malaysia, Philippines, and Indonesia, as the first two weeks of the month include three public holidays namely Labor Day, Eid, and one of the most important Buddhist festivals, Vesak Day, signaling a golden opportunity for travel.

 
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