Study: 7 out of 10 Filipinos willing to travel in 2022

·4 min read

SEVEN out of 10 Filipinos are still keen on pushing through with their planned air travel in the next nine months – an encouraging indicator for the aviation industry this year, a study commissioned by AirAsia Philippines revealed.

The survey, conducted in December 2021, validated AirAsia Philippines’ forecast on the growing optimism and enthusiasm of Filipinos towards travel and their increasing confidence in engaging with air transport.

The study was commissioned with big-data analytics firm Tangere.

“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. 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 guards down. We will be consistent in prioritizing the safety and well-being of our guests as they fly to their intended destinations,” said Ricky Isla, chief executive officer of AirAsia Philippines.

Isla added that with the surge in cases in early 2022, the low-cost airline has set in motion an action plan that ensures the wellbeing of its human resources while optimizing operations through strategic manpower assignments.

The plan includes a 24/7 Covid-19 taskforce, augmentation of manpower in the National Capital Region from provincial hubs, and reintegration of hibernating Allstars.

AirAsia Philippines said it is confident it can meet the demand for travel this year.

The survey showed that Filipinos are ready to stroll out their luggage and be back on the road this year – albeit with heightened caution.

Top destinations

Sixty percent of total respondents of the AirAsia survey intend to travel domestically, with Palawan (77 percent), Boracay (69 percent), Cebu (58 percent), Siargao (57 percent) and Bohol (52 percent) topping the list of preferred destinations. Davao also ranked high among Visayan travelers at 52 percent.

Should international border restrictions relax this 2022, five out of 10 Filipinos are also ready to travel abroad, picking Seoul, South Korea (78 percent); Singapore (73 percent); and Osaka, Japan (71 percent) as their must-visits.

The survey results also revealed 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, AirAsia said.

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, while the need for a vacation (52 percent) and confidence in the local government unit control of Covid-19 (49 percent) closely followed.

Travel budget

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, as 15 and 38 percent of them limit their budget to P15,000 to P20,000, and sub-P14,999, respectively.

“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.

Isla anchored the optimism of all air carriers on the growth of the industry this year,.

“We at AirAsia are ready to welcome a bigger traveling populace this year. Our intensified multi-layered safety plan is in place as we maintain our airline’s DNA of reduced cost structure, better product offerings, and lower fees in support of domestic tourism recovery. We may have to deal with a constantly changing reality brought on by emerging variants and new protocols. But we are confident that we are ready to meet the demand for air transport,” Isla said.

AirAsia Philippines recently reported a positive 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.

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