‘7 out of 10 Pinoys keen to travel’

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Despite the spread of new Covid-19 variants, 7 out of 10 Filipinos are still keen on pushing through with their planned air travel in the next nine months, according to the results of a survey commissioned by AirAsia Philippines.

The airline said the findings of the survey “validated” its forecast on the growing optimism of Filipinos towards travel and their increasing confidence in engaging with air transport.

“We are seeing that Filipinos are now much more confident to travel as we as a nation gain a better understanding of the pandemic and develop a more fitting culture of safety and vigilance,” Ricky Isla, CEO of AirAsia, said in a statement.

“At AirAsia, we are observing an uptrend in long-term bookings which signifies a more positive outlook on travel plans this year. But we are not letting our guard down. We will be consistent in prioritizing the safety and well-being of our guests as they fly to their intended destinations.”

The survey also found that 60 percent of the respondents intend to travel domestically, with Palawan, Boracay, Cebu, Siargao and Bohol topping the list of preferred destinations.

“Should international border restrictions relax this 2022, 5 out of 10 Filipinos are also ready to travel abroad, picking Seoul, South Korea; Singapore; and Osaka, Osaka, Japan as their must-visits,” the airline said.

The survey results indicate that Filipinos will be traveling in smaller groups in 2022, preferring to travel with families (69 percent), partners (40 percent), and close friends (24 percent) over work colleagues, solo trips, and group tours.

“This also reflects the yearning of some Filipinos to reconnect with their loved ones from whom they were isolated in the past couple of years. Fifty three 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 airline said the total travel expense also “strongly influences” 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, according to the survey.

“Frugality has been expected by air carriers given the economic impact of Covid-19 and the long list of essentials in a pandemic, as well as the need to grow personal emergency funds,” the airline said.

“In line with this, Filipinos keep an eye out for bang-for-buck offers that can help them in their trips like complete tour package deals of Flights + Hotel + Tours and Activities, discounted Flight + Hotel bundles, and discounted Food + Activities bundles.”

The airline said the survey was conducted by big-data analytics firm Tangere in December.

AirAsia recently reported an 11-percent increase in seat sales on a week-on-week basis in the first week of January. The top five destinations which contributed to the increased seat sale include Tacloban, Cebu, Caticlan, Panglao and Davao.