PH hotel bookings up 50%

The country has seen an improvement in the number of foreign and local travelers entering and visiting the Philippines, with over 50 percent increase in hotel bookings for the first quarter of 2024, according to global travel company

"We have witnessed a significant increase in hotel bookings in the Philippines compared to last year, and there's a strong sign that more is to come," said Group Managing Director and Vice President of International Markets Boon Sian Chai in a presentation on May 28 at the firm's Shanghai office.

"It's encouraging to see global partners and travelers continue to visit the Philippines as the top source market like South Korea, Japan, and the Americas," Chai added.

Data provided by the firm indicated a 54 percent growth in hotel bookings for the year's initial quarter compared to the same period in 2023.

In April this year alone, hotel bookings more than doubled to 121 percent from the figure in April last year, as searches for hotels in the Philippines also skyrocketed to 188 percent. Group Assistant Vice President of International Markets (Asia and the Pacific) Yi Ru said that the company sees strong growth in the Philippine site, noting Filipinos' enthusiasm on social media.

In particular, she remarked that "impulse purchases are working really well in the Philippines."

Catering to these impulse buyers, Chai announced that they will be launching a pre-sale campaign across all platforms, wherein travelers can purchase travel packages now, while deciding their travel dates later, with 100 percent cancellation for free.

The growth in the Philippines is consistent with the 100 percent hotel recovery seen by the firm in the Southeast Asian region to date, which had seen an overall net revenue growth of around 80 percent, said Ru. 

Trip's revenues from the hotel business also increased by 29 percent in Southeast Asia for the first quarter this year.

Ru said this growth is driven by the general market recovery of the hotel or hospitality industry, and how the firm "outpaces the industry."

"We are not only aiming at China, but also major sites. We also go deeper into understanding the customer needs, create content that would help to drive more traffic, and boost the conversion as well," she added.