Santelmo Cove in Hamilo Coast, Pico de Loro. Photo by Kenneth M. del Rosario

The country is slowly shifting from a pandemic to a spendemic mindset. This means that people, particularly travelers, are more than ready to splurge on trips and vacations, having been cooped up inside their homes for the better part of two years. 

People’s desire to travel was one of the few bright spots throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, with the growing demand for domestic travel never letting up, especially nowadays with more relaxed lockdown restrictions. Today, Filipinos have an increased willingness for multi-destination travel, extended trips, and openness to integrate remote work and leisure.

This is one of the major key points during the Inquirer Rebound Project’s “Welcome Travelers: Setting the stage for tourism boom” online event recently. 

There’s also a lot of demand from the domestic market in terms of exploring the Philippines. But while the popular places such as Boracay, Cebu, and Palawan remain top of mind for tourists, there’s more interest now in curated and more exclusive destinations. 

Spending power seems to be growing, too, according to the expert speakers present during the webinar, as travelers bring their extended families or group of friends. It’s also because of this that travel destinations accessible by road have garnered more interest compared to pre-pandemic times.

Another key point of discussion during the online event is how people are looking more at travel that includes cultural and heritage sites, and destinations that are considered off the beaten path but on the road. There are destinations picking up popularity because of their virgin beaches, cultural immersion, or experiences that are very authentic to the province. 

A growing number of travelers are more discerning and more conscious about sustainability, traveling more responsibly. They are looking at ecological sites that really showcase the best of what the Philippines has to offer in terms of its natural resources, which makes activities such as diving and spelunking even more popular. Interest in farm tourism has also picked up as of late.

Watch the full replay of the session on the Inquirer Facebook Page by clicking here.