Filipinos’ desire to travel does not necessarily translate to urgent travel bookings – at least not this year – according to a survey.
Using convenience sampling method, EON Trust Central (ETC), in partnership with mobile app Tangere, asked 5,000 respondents from all over the Philippines on April 21-23 about their sentiments and concerns regarding travel and tourism during the pandemic. ETC functions as the think tank of EON Group, an integrated marketing communications firm.
While more than half of the respondents from across all age groups declared a desire to travel – reasons range from visiting family members and loved ones, going on vacation, and work/business opportunities – only 58 percent of them plan to do so within this year. The rest defer their travel plans to 2022.
“This indicates a hesitation to travel in the near future [because of] the pandemic,” ETC said in its report “Zooming in on the Filipino Traveler”.
The excitement over embarking on an adventure is also seen in Agoda’s recent travel sentiment survey conducted between June 10 and 14, weeks before Metro Manila and other parts of the country shifted back to the stricter enhanced community quarantine (ECQ), with seven out of 10 Filipinos “optimistic that they will be able to travel domestically before the end of 2021”.
The survey was carried out online and participated in by 1,102 Filipino adults.
No YOLO for Gen Z
Interestingly, the younger generation is the least keen to travel this year, as data from Agoda’s “Next steps to travel” survey found 20 percent of Gen Z will most likely hold off any domestic travel plans. Gen Zers are also the most likely generation to think there will be no travel at all (19 percent for domestic travel, 47 percent for international).
But should Gen Zers travel, they are the age group most likely to do it solo, according to Agoda; and they are the most likely to go on a food trip once the pandemic is over, according to ETC.
More than half or 56 percent of millennials, on the other hand, are most looking forward to traveling with their immediate family.
Fear and added expenses
ETC’s survey uncovered that fear (at 31 percent) is the prevailing feeling of Filipinos when it comes to leisure travel, followed by safety (19 percent) and sadness (12 percent).
While health and safety remain one of the major concerns of respondents, it is only second to budget considerations, which now include additional expenses for travel requirements such as pre- and post-travel COVID-19 tests and other travel permits.
“More than the risk of getting in contact with a COVID-positive person, Filipinos find the administrative aspects of traveling to be the most challenging,” ETC said.
If Filipinos do travel, they expect destinations and hospitality establishments to follow safety protocols such as regular sanitation and disinfection, health screening, and observance of limited capacity.
“Most respondents trust that the Department of Tourism’s health and safety protocols are strictly implemented in the country’s tourist destinations.”