In the time of the COVID-19 pandemic, with every country implementing strict quarantine protocols and border restrictions, almost all travelers could do is dream and participate in “armchair tourism” as they explore the world through the internet, reading books, watching TV or streaming services.
But the COVID-19 restrictions continue to slowly loosen up all over the world (including the Philippines, which is on its way to its seventh month of strict quarantine, reportedly one of the longest lockdowns in the world to date), travelers see a ray of hope as moving again for leisure may just be around the corner.
According to the recent search data of digital travel platform Agoda.com (based on destination searches with travel schedule pegged between June 1 to December 2020), Filipinos across different demographics are looking to travel local once allowed, with Boracay as one of the most searched domestic destinations.
Family and group travelers searched Boracay as their top destinations while solo travelers and couples searched the world-famous island only second to Manila.
Other local destinations that figured prominently in Agoda.com’s top searched data across different demographics include Cebu, Palawan, Batangas, Bohol and Siargao.
The search data also revealed that Filipinos who are planning to go as a group are most keen to travel domestically with all their Top 10 most searched destinations within the country. Meanwhile, solo travelers are the most willing to travel outside of the country, searching for deals in Tokyo (No. 5), Bangkok (No. 9) and Seoul (No. 10) for when overseas travel is possible.
Recently, the Department of Tourism announced the reopening of Boracay to tourists from areas under general community quarantine (GCQ) and modified GCQ on Oct. 1 with health and safety protocols in place. According to reports, the island has been reopened to tourists from Western Visayas in June.
Boracay received over two million tourists in 2019, over 900,000 of those are domestic tourists according to the Aklan Provincial Tourism Office.
In June, the Department of Tourism, in collaboration with Guide to the Philippines and AIM-Dr. Andrew L. Tan Center for Tourism, released the “Philippine Travel Survey: Insights on Filipino Travel Behavior Post-COVID 19, which showed that at least 77% percent of respondents look forward to travel for leisure or vacation, even in the absence of a proven vaccine against COVID-19.
Banner image by Walter Bollozos