Young Pinoy travelers willing to splurge on experience-driven tours

Rica Delfinado - The Philippine Star
Young Pinoy travelers willing to splurge on experience-driven tours
Passengers queue to enter the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) Terminal 3 in Pasay City on February 24, 2024.
STAR / Ernie Penaredondo

MANILA, Philippines — As the world moves past the pandemic and the chaotic period of revenge travel, a transformative shift in travel dynamics is happening right now, especially among millennial and Gen Z travelers, according to Asia’s leading platform for experiences and travel services Klook.

Klook’s latest Travel Pulse research found that three in five travelers in Asia-Pacific, including the Philippines, are set to splurge on adventures this year, dedicating up to half their budget to experiences and activities despite rising costs due to global inflation.

“Travel is no longer just a journey; it’s the embodiment of a new love language — shared experiences. Travel has become an essential outlet, offering individuals the chance to connect genuinely with themselves, their loved ones and the world around them,” Klook COO and co-founder Eric Gnock Fah said in the report.

Fah said that these travel trends are reflective of a post-pandemic world, where the pandemic-induced isolation and increased digitization of lives have left people yearning for more connections.

In particular, Klook said that 66 percent of millennials and Gen Z (ages 27 to 37) travelers in the Philippines are raising their travel budgets this year, with nearly half of them willing to spend up to 50 percent or more on their holidays.

Klook also said that nine in 10 travelers in Asia-Pacific intend to pursue travel with their loved ones this year. It said that for millennials and Gen Zs, travel is more than a holiday; it is the ultimate canvas for building connections and creating shared memories that solidify bonds.

The focus for travelers continues to be on experiences that promise meaningful connections with their companions. This aligns with the finding that 34 percent of Filipinos prefer to travel with their partners and immediate family.

The study also showed that availability and prices of experiences are a priority for 68 percent of Filipinos. The survey also found that four in 10 (45 percent) Filipinos prioritize a destination’s uniqueness as among the top factors when planning a holiday. Nature and outdoor adventures take the lead at 59 percent, followed by the thrill of theme parks (53 percent), and the cultural richness of museums and historical sites (51 percent).

Trading solitude for shared adventures

Across the region, millennials and Gen Zs are expected this year to break away from pandemic habits of me-time and solitary routines of self-care, and will actively choose to venture back on the road to connect and discover with their loved ones, according to Klook.

Based on the survey, nine out of 10 travelers want to pursue trips with others, be it family, partners, or close friends. It also showed that 30 percent of respondents are opting for getaways with partners (one in three), while 26 percent prefer family adventures (one in four), and 21 percent choose to venture with friends (one in five). Millennials also lean toward travel with their partners, while Gen Zs prioritize friend group travel.

Klook said that 65 percent of travelers are pursuing shared adventures through more frequent, shorter holidays rather than extended getaways, to maximize creating these core memories together.

New destinations are also on the horizon for 70 percent of travelers in Asia-Pacific, with the top destinations on the wish list being Japan, South Korea, Thailand and Singapore.

According to the survey, Filipino respondents expressed their preference for the following destinations: Japan leads with 61 percent, South Korea follows with 37 percent, the Philippines (domestic tourism) lands at a fair 36 percent and Singapore with a good number at 33 percent.

Social media is integral for shared experiences

Klook said that for most travelers (96 percent), posting about their journeys on social media platforms is more than just documentation—it’s to be shared with others.

This act of online sharing becomes a means of capturing and cherishing memories with their social circles, as these shared experiences take root as constants in digital lives, it said.

Social media continues to be a key source of travel inspiration, with Instagram (77 percent) and YouTube (77 percent) leading the way as primary enablers of wanderlust. As seen in the Philippines, eight in 10 (86 percent) have booked a travel experience based on social media recommendations from content creators.

Trust dynamics in online travel recommendations are evolving, with non-celebrity figures being the most trusted source of recommendations, reflecting a broader trend towards authentic and relatable content, Klook said.

It also said that online voices continue to be of considerable influence for travel inspiration as over 80 percent base their travel bookings on recommendations from content creators, underscoring the pivotal role of digital influencers in shaping travel choices.

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