Boracay, Cebu, and Palawan are the country’s top domestic destinations for balikbayans and their families this holiday season, a group of travel agencies said Thursday.
The Philippine Travel Agencies Association (PTAA) said many overseas Filipino workers are choosing to travel to these destinations after two years of coronavirus restrictions.
“Now that the restrictions are lifted, these OFWs and families are planning to go to Boracay and it is being manifested in the record of the travel agencies,” JB Bernal Formilleza, PTAA executive vice-president, said.
Airlines have added more flights to Boracay this week and next week due to a large number of travelers, he added.
Formilleza said many travelers prefer Boracay since from there, it is easy to travel by land to other destinations such as Iloilo and Aklan.
In a separate interview, Bureau of Immigration spokesperson Dana Sandoval said the Philippines is now recording 35,000 to 38,000 passenger arrivals per day while departures are at 25,000 to 28,000 a day.
She said immigration counters worldwide are experiencing long queues due to a large number of travelers.
Americans comprise the largest number of foreign arrivals in the country, Sandoval said.
Filipinos choosing to travel overseas, meanwhile, have South Korea, Taiwan, and Japan as their preferred holiday destinations because they want to enjoy the colder weather, Formilleza said.
The large number of bookings has been encouraging to tour operators, hotels, and tour guides, which have been battered by lockdowns since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Online travel agencies have also helped increase the number of bookings, the PTAA official said.