Market Information

Easing restrictions stir up travel plans among Pinoys


MANILA, Philippines Filipinos have turned optimistic again to resume traveling as the government continues to relax mobility restrictions in the country. According to the latest Finders Travel Index, travel plans in the Philippines in October started to rise again, with 28 percent of Filipino adults wanting to travel in the next three months. This is an improvement from 22 percent in September, which was the lowest level in eight months or since the index began in February this year. The optimism comes after the government eased the alert level system in Metro Manila and other provinces, allowing more movement and businesses to operate.

     Still, the October survey is still below the average in the previous months before the COVID-19 surge as travel plans hovered around 35 to 43 percent. Based on the index, plans for both domestic and international travel have improved. For domestic, travel plans increased to 20.4 percent of Filipinos from 15.5 percent the previous month. International travel also went up to 12.2 percent from 9.3 percent. Domestically, several tourist destinations no longer require the mandatory RT-PCR tests but travelers need to be fully vaccinated. More men (33 percent) than women (25 percent) also plan to travel, up from 27 percent and 19 percent, respectively. Finders editor-at-large Angus Kidman said the Philippines had the third biggest jump in travel plans of all 12 countries surveyed. The average is at 25 percent. Kidman said the rise in travel plans coincides with the drop in the number of new COVID cases. Average daily tally has gone down to less than 2,000.

   Fewer COVID cases were reported in the capital toward the end of September. Coupling that with the easing of lockdown restrictions and the increased interest in travel is not surprising,Kidman said. The jump in travel plans is also particularly strong compared to other countries surveyed. Apart from the Philippines, travel plans are also high in India, Malaysia, Singapore and South Africa. Meanwhile, Hong Kong, Ireland, New Zealand, UK, US, Australia and Canada recorded below average travel plans. With the further easing of domestic travel restrictions and the return of international flights, it will be interesting to see if these figures climb even higher in the next survey, Kidman said.