PHILIPPINES – 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 (#2), Hong Kong (#3), and Taiwan (#4). This year, these three were replaced by Singapore, the United States, and Thailand, respectively. This change also signifies major ranking leaps for Singapore, which was in sixth place in 2019, as well as for the United States which placed ninth.
Compared to 2019 where Asian countries dominated the Philippines’ top destination list, Filipinos in 2022 have set their sights on European countries like France, Spain, Italy, the United Kingdom, and Switzerland.
On the international front, Filipinos, Malaysians, and Indonesians are flocking to countries with cooler weather with the United Kingdom and United States 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.
A further comparison between booking data from 2019 and 2022 showed a shift in top ten 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. However, this year, Japan slipped out of the top 10 list as the country still 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 its doors stand to gain from international tourist arrivals during this period.
Meanwhile, 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, famously known for rich milky chocolate and mesmerizing alpine scenery has etched itself into the top 10 destination 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 especially as they gear up to celebrate Eid, a festivity largely spent with family, which marks the culmination of Ramadan, the holy month of fasting in the Muslim calendar. For many regions, the Eid celebration this year marks the first time since the onset of the pandemic that Muslims are able to travel freely, reunite and celebrate following the easing of travel restrictions.
Moreover, the month of May is popular among eager travelers across Southeast Asia (Singapore, Malaysia, Philippines, and Indonesia) as the first two weeks of the month include three public holidays namely Labor Day (1 May), Eid (3-4 May), and one of the most important Buddhist festivals, Vesak Day (16 May), signaling a golden opportunity for travel.
Most popular destination comparisons over 2019 & 2022 Eid celebration period:
- Filipino travelers’ top countries in 2019 – Japan (#2), Hong Kong (#3) and Taiwan (#4) were replaced by Singapore (#2), United States (#3) and Thailand (#4) in 2022 due to border restrictions.
- Filipinos also have their sights set on European countries this year compared 2019 where Asian countries dominated the list. This includes countries like France, Spain, Germany, Italy, United Kingdom and Switzerland.
- Singapore moved from the sixth spot in 2019 to second in 2022, while the United States jumps to third choice in 2022 from placing ninth in 2019.
Domestic travel remains top preference among PH travelers, but relaxed borders see Filipinos flocking to international destinations–Agoda | WSN[Whatsapp Status New]