Ma. Stella F. Arnaldo / Special to the BusinessMirror
FILIPINOS are leaving the Philippines and giving in to their wanderlust for tourist destinations abroad.
According to the Philippine Tourism Satellite Accounts released by the Philippine Statistics Authority’s, outbound tourism expenditures surged by 88.6 percent to some P190 billion in 2022, from 2021’s P100.4 billion. Outbound tourism expenditures refer to the spending of Filipino visitors while traveling outside the country. It may include expenses of same-day visitors as well as overseas Filipino workers, and thus fall under “imports of goods of services” in the country’s balance of payments.
Last year’s outbound tourism expenditures were 44 percent short of the level in 2019, prior to the pandemic, which reached close to P342 billion.
In an interview, Aileen Clemente, president of Rajah Travel Corp., said the most popular holiday spot for Filipinos continues to be “Japan, still our number one. This is followed by other Southeast Asian neighbors—Singapore and Bangkok. Then of course, Hong Kong.”
Tips for traveling abroad
However, she said the vacation sports in the Western Hemisphere are not far behind. Filipinos are also traveling to “Europe, the United States, and Canada, especially given that if you have a US visa, it won’t be difficult for you to go to Canada.” Rajah Travel is the local agent for Insight Vacations, an exclusive collection of premium guided tours and cruises, a brand under the The Travel Corp.
She noted that international travel is still not back to 2019 levels in terms of the number of transactions, “but definitely way past 50 percent.” She attributed this to the continued limitation of international flights “because of the lack of pilots, crew, and planes. You really have to book very early to get good rates. Even getting visas for some countries takes some time,” Clemente