Results of a recently concluded Philippine Travel Survey Report commissioned by the Philippines’ Department of Tourism (DOT), Guide to the Philippines, and the Asian Institute of Management (AIM) – Dr. Andrew L. Tan Center for Tourism, have gathered six key insights.
The travel survey was launched on May 15 to 24, 2020 over various online platforms and garnered a total of 12,732 respondents composed of Filipino travelers and foreign residents, all over 81 provinces of the Philippines.
Domestic leisure travel will lead Philippine Tourism recovery
In spite of the current COVID-19 situation, 77% of the respondents are still willing to travel domestically even in the absence of a proven vaccine.
As compared to international travel, survey results show a greater confidence on the probably of domestic travel within six months from the lifting of travel restrictions.
The reasons for travel once restrictions are lifted is topped by “for vacation and leisure” at 53%. This is followed by “for visiting family and friends”, and for business or work.
Majority of travelers expect a reduction in income and travel budget
When asked about their expected travel budget during this time of community quarantine, majority indicate that they will reduce it instead of completely zeroing it out.
However, while many expect to still spend on travel, the general sentiment at 42% of the respondents, say that they are highly unlikely to purchase travel deals or promotions during the time. This can be attributed to their concerns on safety, expected reduction in income, and travel restrictions.
Health and safety is the primary concern of the travelers
Travelers are most concerned with the health and safety of others and themselves. 85% indicate they are very concerned about family and friends contracting the virus, 81% about personally contracting the virus, and 11% about the availability of a vaccine.
When asked how they expect the severity of the COVID-19 situation in the Philippines to change in the next month, only 29% feel that the situation will improve, 34% say the situation will neither improve or worsen, and a majority of 37% indicate that the situation will worsen in a month’s time.
Only when there are medical milestones will most of the travelers feel comfortable returning to their old routine or lifestyle.
When asked what best practices they would like to see implemented once travel is allowed, respondents generally expect sanitation and health best practices like certified disinfecting protocols and regular sanitation (96%), Passenger health screening (e.g. temperature checks) (94%), and Limitations on visitor capacity in attractions and establishments (90%).
Additionally, majority of travelers are willing to adhere to necessary health and safety protocols, except for undergoing quarantine at a government facility.
Travelers prefer reduced-contact activities once leisure restrictions are lifted
Majority of travelers feel safer doing activities with limited exposure to crowds. Going on a private guided tour, solo traveling or backpacking, and staying in a hotel or resort are considered the safest among the provided list of activities.
The least safe for the respondents are joining shared/group tours, going to sports events, and attending conventions or conferences.
When asked what they see themselves doing for their next trip once travel restrictions are lifted, the top three responses are going to the beach, going on a road trip, and going on a staycation.
Travelers prefer online and digital channels for convenience and contact-reduction
When asked how they book their travel arrangements, a majority 73% say they do so online directly with the establishment, and 41% directly with the establishment via phone or email. 46% say they do so through an online travel agency (OTA) or aggregator.
80% of the travelers prefer booking trip components like airline tickets, tours, hotel stays, separately while only 20% prefer packages. Those who prefer independent arrangements mainly book online while those preferring packages tend to book with travel agencies.
When asked when they purchase products for leisure like plane tickets, bus/ferry, accommodation, and tours and attractions. Majority of responses indicate plane tickets are bought within a year, bus/ferries in the destination, and accommodations as well as tours and attractions are at one to three months before.
Travelers plan to travel close to home
Respondents have shown a preference for travel to destinations closer to their place of residence with the top ten domestic destinations of choice being:
- Metro Manila
- El Nido
- La Union
60% of the respondents fall within the ages of 22-40 years old. 98% have at least an undergraduate degree and 30% have postgraduate degrees. 47% are private employees followed by 19% working in government. 27% of the travelers earn Php 20,000 – 40,000 per month.
For more information on this, please refer to:
Department of Tourism, Dr. Andrew L. Tan Center for Tourism, & Guide to the Philippines (DOT, ALTCFT, GTTP). (2020, June). The Philippine Travel Survey Report: Insights on Filipino Travelers’ Sentiments on the New Normal. Department of Tourism, Asian Institute of Management, Guide to the Philippines
View the Full Report here: