Online travel sales to residents and travel intermediaries enjoyed double-digit current value growth for most of the review period, as the tourism industry in general saw growth. However, with the suspension of visas to foreigners (with some exceptions) and the temporary halt to domestic tourism due to COVID-19 lockdowns, both sales channels are expected to see very strong current value declines in 2020.
In terms of booking and payment, offline remains the primary method at most traditional travel agencies. Online platforms such as websites and social media networks are good tools for exposure, but eventually clients still tend to call or visit branches to make the actual bookings and payments.
Despite the fact that travel intermediaries is expected to see a stronger decline than online travel sales to residents due to COVID-19 in 2020, it is also expected to see slower growth in 2021 and 2022. With the reluctance to conduct in-person transactions, more consumers are expected to turn to purchasing travel products online, and the development by players of more online options will enable this.
Despite the problems expected in 2020 due to COVID-19 and the slow return to growth, there is room for optimism for travel intermediaries and online travel sales to residents in the longer-term. Trade sources state that travel is no longer considered a luxury amongst many Filipinos, but a way of life, thanks to more affordable travel options and accessible information via the internet and social media.
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This report originates from Passport, our Travel Retail research and analysis database.
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