Friday, June 21, 2024

Klook survey reveals Pinoys’ heightened interest in Asia, domestic travel

A new study from online booking platform Klook has revealed that its users in the Philippines are inclined towards international travel to neighboring countries like Singapore, Japan, and most especially Hong Kong due to proximity and no visa requirement.

Klook PH general manager Michelle Ho

In fact, month-on-month growth for Klook in relation to Hong Kong bookings shows strong recovery since the country reopened for tourism at 230% from December 2022 to January 2023, and continues with a double-digit growth for February and March.

For outbound travelers from the Philippines, the study shows that Filipinos  prefer longer travel durations with six to nine days (44%) being the most popular, followed by three to five days (40%), then 10 or more days (38%), and, lastly one to two days (15%).

Additionally, the most experiences booked are theme parks, watersports, and hotels.

Locally, Klook is also seeing continued growth in uptake for domestic destinations and experiences with the most popular destinations being Boracay, Manila, Tagaytay, Cebu, Clark, and Subic.

Michelle Ho, general manager for Klook Philippines and Thailand, noted that these promising numbers are, in a large part, propelled by the digitalization of the tourism industry.

“Travel has become even more accessible to consumers now that more people are becoming digital-savvy, and we believe this digital transformation is contributing greatly to the acceleration of tourism growth in the region,” Ho shared. 

In Boracay, overall bookings for water activities  increased by 75% in Q4 2022 with 70% of total revenue coming from domestic bookings. Manila Ocean Park and Cebu Ocean Park’s website booking systems are also powered by Klook through Flickket, enabling direct entry for customers through a seamless Mode of Payment and QR code redemption system.

This skips the need for travelers to exchange tickets upon arrival at the parks, improving their overall end-to-end booking experience which led to the sales in Q4 2022 doubling compared to the previous year.

Sky Ranch Tagaytay also sold over 50,000 tickets due to Klook’s instant confirmation, and open-dated calendars leading to a tripling of its monthly sales.

“We are cognizant of the contributions we are able to make in helping grow domestic tourism given our platform and user base. A lot of locals, both individuals and merchants, rely on tourism for their livelihood and we are eager to help domestic travelers discover more sources of joy in the country, and businesses to make their products and services more accessible to our users,” Ho added.

Klook has over 1,500 destinations and 515,000 curated experiences and activities to choose from. The company has been present in the Philippines for five years and over this time, it has amassed close to 600 experiences and activities across 21 cities in the country, ranging from accommodations, entertainment, dining, and transportation.

Klook saw a 22% increase in application downloads in February 2023 compared to the same period pre-Covid. When it comes to bookings, the company ended 2022 with a 62% growth in bookings coming from the previous quarter,  showing that more and more Filipinos are flocking to the app to plan their next trip.

By the end of 2023, Klook said it is expecting a 27% growth increase in monthly bookings compared to its pre-pandemic numbers.

“The Filipinos’ eagerness to travel motivates us to push for experiences that can be achieved in our own home or abroad. Digital technology is a powerful tool that can benefit the majority if done right, and we will continue to introduce platform enhancements to improve our customers’ travel experiences and make it easier to discover and book anything via Klook,” said Ho.

Klook Philippines plans to further local tourism by doubling down on its commitment to the domestic landscape. On top of this, given the success of its  previous partnerships, Klook said it will continue to engage with small businesses to aid in uplifting the local economy.

“We plan to reach out to and engage more local merchants, educate them of how they can take advantage of digital technology with us, and hopefully work more closely with our local tourism industry in general to help maximize the tourism prospects for the country,” added Ho.

“The Philippines is a dignified stand-alone destination in itself that both foreign and local travelers can enjoy. When we empower Filipinos and place importance on our natural wonders, we are able to lift each other up while helping our local businesses by reintroducing the beauty of the Philippines and its culture to both local and foreign tourists alike,” Ho concluded.

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