Call it revenge travel, but bookings for trave here and abroad have risen by leaps and bounds because of people’s hunger for the outdoors and for different experiences, thanks to the craving created by the pandemic and to easy online booking.
Filipinos—esp. millennials—are booking for local and foreign travels which caused online bookings to jump by 230 percent month-on-month for Hongkong from December 2022 to January 2023 and by 87 percent last year domestically versus the pre-pandemic levels of 2019.
In a briefing, Klook Philippines general manager Michelle Ho for the Philippines and Thailand, said Filipinos have been booking vacations to Singapore, Japan, and Hong Kong, as well as domestic destinations like Boracay, Manila, Tagaytay, Cebu, Clark, and Subic.
As per the Klook Travel Pulse, bookings to these domestic destinations grew by 87 percent last year versus prepandemic 2019, Business Mirror reported.
For Hong Kong alone, bookings by Filipinos jumped by 230 percent month-on-month to January 2023 from December 2022. Ho said the bookings for Hong Kong continue to increase by “double digits” for February and March.
She attributed this growth to increasing digitalization in the tourism industry: “Travel has become even more accessible to consumers that more people are becoming digital-savvy, and we believe this digital transformation is contributing greatly to the acceleration of tourism growth in the region.”
In Boracay, for instance, bookings for water activities grew by 75 percent in the fourth quarter versus the same period in 2021, with 70 percent of total revenue coming from domestic bookings.
“Klook is bridging local tour operators to travelers, making discoverability of activities easier and hassle-free,” she added.
Manila Ocean Park, for another, recorded a 40-percent increase in admission tickets in the fourth quarter of 2022 versus the same period in 2021. The park’s web site booking system, along with that of its sister park in Cebu, are powered by Klook through Flickket, “enabling direct entry for customers through a seamless mode of payment and QR code redemption system.”
Discounts with merchants
The company also introduced Klook Pass, first in Boracay, giving users access to merchants offering 30-40 percent discounts on the latter’s products and services. The pass will also be available for Cebu and other domestic destinations soon, said Ho.
A leading travel and experiences platform in Asia which was founded in Hong Kong, Klook was first introduced in the Philippine in 2017. To date, it has 3.8 million active users in the Philippines, most of whom are aged 25-40 years old. These include solo travelers, friends, couples, and families who drive 3.4 million in monthly traffic to the app.
The study also shows 44 percent of its Filipino users prefer to travel from six to nine days, while 40 percent prefer three to five days, while 38 percent prefer 10 or more days, and only 15 percent travel for one or two days. The study also showed Filipinos favor booking theme parks, water sports, and hotels.
Projected 27% growth in monthly bookings
Klook Philippines was able to grow its business during the pandemic as it partnered with hotels and e-wallet mobile app GCash. Introduced in 2017, the app now has over 300 partner merchants in the country.
The study showed 87 percent of Filipinos are eager to travel, with 17 percent of whom having made bookings. Ho considers this “moderate” and comparable to other users in Asia.
The company sees further growth in its business in the Philippines this year with international and domestic bookings continuing to drive this, said Ho. In February 2023, there was a 22-percent increase in Klook app downloads versus the same month in 2019. The company ended 2022 with a 62-percent growth in bookings, “showing that more and more Filipinos are flocking to the app to plan their next trip,” said Ho. “By the end of 2023, we expect a 27-percent increase in monthly bookings compared to our pre-pandemic numbers.”
She said Klook will further reach out to local merchants to show how digitalization, i.e., the app, can transform their business, “and hopefully work more closely with our local tourism industry in general to help maximize the tourism prospects for the country.”
Tags: #travel, #bookings, #Phl.destinations, #abroad, #revengetravel