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Travel and Tourism

Airbnb sees increased interest in international travel to Philippines

Rosette Adel - Philstar.com
Airbnb sees increased interest in international travel to Philippines
This February 2021 photo shows tourists in Boracay.
Malay Municipal Tourism Office / Facebook

MANILA, Philippines — The Philippines is an attractive destination among international travelers, according to the data of the online marketplace for vacation rentals, Airbnb.

As travel restrictions were relaxed in the country, Airbnb saw a rise in international travelers eyeing to visit the country.  

This was indicated in the searches made by international guests for Airbnb stays in the country during the first quarter of 2022. It grew by over 140% from the same period in 2021.

Travel destination, trend

Meanwhile, Airbnb said Manila emerged as the most popular destination among local and foreign travelers, followed by tourist destination favorites Cebu and Quezon City.

Since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020, more than 60 cities and towns in the Philippines have since welcomed their guests.

For the vacation rental platform, these findings signal that the travel industry is bouncing back and also signifies economic recovery for the country.

Aside from the increased interest in stays in the country, Airbnb said travelers are also eager to stay longer and explore more places than before with many of the guests seeking long-term stays. This became popular when the lockdown was imposed in the country paving the way for remote work.

The platform said that the country is poised to take advantage of the Live Anywhere remote-work trend and the ride of digital nomad as this is seen to create more economic opportunities for locals.  

According to Airbnb’s recent survey, more than a third of local guests stayed at any of its listing travels and work remotely, further demonstrating how travelers have been increasingly living on its registered Airbnb.

Amanpreet Bajaj, Airbnb’s general manager for Southeast Asia, India, Hong Kong and Taiwan is optimistic about this development.

“It is heartening to see that Airbnb guests from around the world are looking to revisit the Philippines - as well as explore it for the first time - which bodes well for the sector’s ongoing recovery and for our local community of hosts,” he said.

“The blurring lines between travel and living has also led to many travelers continuing to embrace their newfound flexibility. They’re jumping at the opportunity to base themselves in the picturesque destinations in the Philippines, including both popular and lesser-known parts of the country,” he added.

Bajaj said the company is committed to working with local hosts across the country and the Philippine government “to help ensure Filipino communities can take advantage of this travel rebound.”

The platform has added new search tools such as I’m Flexible, which has been used more than two billion times since May 21 and new Categories and Split Stays features to make it easier for Filipinos to become hosts of tourists.

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