STOCK PHOTO | Image by Stela Di from Pixabay

A SURGE in overseas holiday bookings in Southeast Asia is expected among Filipinos in the next year, sparking tourism opportunities, according to a report from Grab.

The GrabAds SEA travel insights report showed that seven out of 10 Filipinos plan to travel abroad at least once in the next 12 months, with 82% intending to have more than two trips.

“GrabAds data revealed a massive increase of 84% in international travel intent among SEA Grab users compared to just one year ago,” Jennie Johnson, head of marketing at GrabAds, said in a press statement on Wednesday.

“Last year, brands may have focused on short-term impulse campaigns based on pent-up lockdown FOMO (fear of missing out),” she added.

“But they now need to shift towards developing long-term relationships with savvy Southeast Asian travellers as they dream, plan, book, and experience travel.”

The Philippines has welcomed over 1.8 million international arrivals in the first four months of the year, according to Christina Garcia Frasco, Department of Tourism (DoT) secretary. This already surpassed DoT’s target of 1.7 million for last year, which the country also exceeded with 2.65 international arrivals logged in 2022.

Key preferences and behaviors among Filipino travelers included family companionship, with 66% of respondents inclined to travel with their families and relatives, 47% with their spouse, and 38% with close friends.

The report noted that Thailand was the top travel destination in Southeast Asia for Filipinos, followed by Singapore, Malaysia, and Vietnam. Japan, South Korea, and the United States were the top destinations outside the region.

Moreover, 54% of Filipino respondents were found to be determined to set a travel budget and stick to it.

GrabAds noted that brands should shift toward the surging travel demand, “Brands should seize this moment as an opportunity to transition from short-term ‘revenge travel’ campaigns.”

“Instead focus on developing enduring strategies that cultivate long-term relationships with repeat customers.”

“It could be as simple as maintaining year-round communication with consumers or utilizing online to offline channels to promote the latest offers,” Ms. Johnson said. — Miguel Hanz L. Antivola