Freeman Cebu Business

Philippines emerges as top marketfor internatonal airline passengers

The Freeman

According to a report from Trevolution Group, over 155,000 flight tickets have been sold to and from the country’s main airports, resulting in over US$234 million in gross bookings or 20 percent of the company’s overall gross profit during the past year (2023) since launching direct ticketing operations in the Philippine market.

The Philippines has historically been one of the most popular travel destinations for international and especially American passengers, and today, the growing demand for transpacific flights is strongly exceeding pre-pandemic volumes, the company said.

In 2023, Trevolution Group has reported a significant 51 percent increase in outbound tourism compared to 2022, which indicates this market’s rapid recovery and progressive economic growth.

The past year has been the busiest travel period up to date, and 2024 is predicted to show the same pattern marking it as the year of largest boom across the Philippines’ tourism segment with anticipated 7.7 million foreign visitors.

Record obtained from the Department of Tourism (DOT) revealed that the country’s tourism industry welcomed more than 5 million international visitors throughout 2023, with 92 percent foreigners and the remaining eight percent being overseas Filipinos who fall into the VFR tourism segment.

The new record is by around 650,000 international visitors higher than its target of 4.8 million that were projected to visit the country for the entire year. This indicates that the country’s tourism industry is recovering faster than expected, and the Trevolution Group’s travel businesses are a significant contributor to the market’s record performance reintroducing the Philippines into the global tourism arena.

Class of travel

Travel from the Philippines has seen a substantial increase in sales across all major cabin classes sold by Trevolution Group in 2023. That resulted in a high 56 percent increase in flights booked from the country’s main airports in Economy class and a 48 percent growth in Business class compared to the previous year’s data.

Meanwhile, the demand for inbound Economy tickets has increased by four percent and by 43 percent in business class indicating the continuous return of business travel where the Philippines play a significant role in the global economy.

As the airline industry returns to its pre-pandemic capacity and the price of aviation fuel remains stable, the growing airfare prices had slowed down in 2023 making international travel more affordable and available.

When it comes to the average ticket price, Business class tickets to the Philippines decreased by 16 percent, while economy class fares showed only a two percent climb.

The airfare costs from the Philippines, however, saw a very minor change with 4% cheaper flights in Economy class and four percent price increase in Business class making affordable flight options more accessible and thus more popular.

Because of this development, air passengers also had higher ability to purchase additional auxiliary products, in-flight services and upgrades with Ticket Protection being the top selection last year.

According to the Group’s recent sales data, the majority of foreign visitors coming to the Philippines in 2023 originated from the United States, Canada, as well as Japan, Thailand and Singapore, following last year’s pattern and choosing Manila as the main arrival and departure airport.

Manila contributed to 76.54 percent of the total flight tickets booked to the Philippines and 81.21 percent of the total flights sold from the country’s largest airports (vs. 80.45 percent and 84.40 percent in 2022) with Cebu also growing in popularity over the last year.

Similarly, the top five departure cities to the Philippines remained Los Angeles, San Francisco and New York, followed by Toronto and Chicago, with Philippine Airlines, EVA Air, China Airlines and Korean Air being the most popular air carriers.

Majority of travelers starting their journey in the Philippines also flew to the same popular destinations including the United States, Canada, Japan, Singapore, Thailand, as well as within the country.

Meanwhile, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Toronto, New York and Vancouver remained the top destination cities similarly to the commercial year of 2022 with Philippine Airlines, EVA Air and United Airlines as the top three carriers.

Trevolution Group, which operates International Travel Network, ASAP Tickets, Skylux Travel, Dreamport, Oojo, and other travel brands, has established itself as the global market leader in the travel business, specializing in the VFR segment.

Over 840,000 unique airline tickets and vacation packages were sold by the companies under the Trevolution Group brand in 2023, making it the fourth-largest travel consolidator in the US.

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