REMOTE WORK in combination with leisure travel is viewed as a possible new market that will help in the recovery of the travel and hospitality industries, a senior business consultant said.

The work-from-anywhere setup has given rise to a new type of travel during the pandemic, according to Anthony Oundjian, managing director and senior partner at Boston Consulting Group.

“This is opening a new value pool, I would say, for the industry,” he said at the BusinessWorld Virtual Economic Forum 2021 on Wednesday.

“I was recently in Siargao working with some of my team members, and it was interesting to observe like during the day… that with all of these (video platforms) and the internet connection, we had all people working,” he added.

AIM Research Manager Eylla Laire M. Gutierrez told BusinessWorld recently that the so-called “workcation” model is expected to persist as more employees become engaged in this new setup.

As more destinations reopen with the rise in vaccination levels, the Tourism department is hoping to see more travelers in the coming months.

“Boracay experienced a dramatic increase of tourist arrivals in the last two months, with a total of 32,452 visitors in October,” the department said on Nov. 12.

“We hope to see even more visitors, given this positive development, and ensure everyone’s safety altogether now that Boracay’s fully vaxxed tourism workers are at 94%, while its entire eligible population is 70% vaccinated,” it added.

Mr. Oundjian said that domestic travel came to the fore during the pandemic as many countries closed their borders to international visitors to contain the spread of the coronavirus.

“But this may not last because when we ask consumers, they are willing to travel overseas, to go far, so I think for the Philippines, for Thailand, we should expect to have a very meaningful inflow of Koreans, Europeans, and US citizens as soon as they can,” he added.

In its 2022 outlook report, Fitch Ratings said passenger demand for leisure and other personal travel is expected to recover faster than for corporate travel, with domestic travel bouncing back the fastest.

“The ramping-up of vaccinations and availability of booster shots are paving the way for a gradual return to normality for many Asian countries,” it said. — Arjay L. Balinbin