Google’s journey restoration itinerary: How Philippine journey entrepreneurs can bounce again from the pandemic

M.anila, Philippines – Many Filipinos had to take a break from travel plans this year, which has had a major impact on the tourism industry at home and abroad. Now that COVID-19 restrictions are easing and the borders are opening, people are becoming more hopeful for the future and are slowly reviving their wish-lists for wanderlust.

However, given the high regard for health and safety, international travel is still viewed as risky. Safe domestic travel is forecast to increase. Now is the time for travel agents to promote Filipino tourism and expand support to help small businesses recover while prioritizing people’s wellbeing.

Where to go next Explore local destinations

During the first few months of quarantine, people were only encouraged to leave their homes to meet essential needs such as groceries and trips to hospitals. This is especially true in large cities like Manila, Makati, Pasay, and Quezon City.

APAC State of Travel 2020

With the country safely reopening its economy, Filipinos are gaining confidence to book out-of-town stays and looking for farm and beach destinations with a 30% and 40% increase in Google searches from August to September, respectively. This is most likely due to the fact that these places have larger spaces to provide physical distancing and the positive effects nature has on a person’s wellbeing after home quarantine. Beach attractions in Palawan, Boracay, and Batangas, as well as natural attractions such as Chocolate Hills in Bohol, are more sought after.

The three-step recovery plan for travel marketers

What can companies and advertisers do to regain relevance for the travel industry during this recovery phase? The latest Google surveys suggest that one in two people in the Asia-Pacific region is interested in travel, optimistic about the future, and looking for information about where to fly without considering safety.

Tour operators need to make the necessary preparations to assist clients in planning their next domestic vacation. First, marketers should already be visible and involve travelers in their planning phase. Google’s survey shows that consumers are turning to online travel agents (OTAs) when creating travel plans. In China, six out of ten consumers plan on regular OTAs compared to before COVID-19.

Companies should consider sharing safety and travel information across channels, as well as offering flexible bookings and price guarantees for travelers looking to book flights and hotel reservations early. You can also drive engagement by introducing innovative online marketing activations like live streams to keep your brand updated.

How Filipino Travel Marketers Can Recover From The PandemicHow Filipino Travel Marketers Can Recover From The Pandemic

Second, marketers should consider the traveler’s top preferences when booking. Given the pandemic postponement priorities of consumers, cleanliness and hygiene are one of the most important factors they consider today. This is followed by considerations of competitive pricing and promotions, flexible policies, travel brand reputation and loyalty programs. Understanding this data enables tour operators to better customize their offerings and keep pace with changing consumer sentiment.

Finally, there is still some uncertainty surrounding the desire for meetings, incentives, conferences and exhibitions (MICE) and travel. Marketers can instill confidence to re-stimulate demand for the MICE segment. In China, hotel companies like Marriott International are implementing improved hygiene protocols for business events to encourage bookings. Constantly ensuring safety by communicating the commitment to cleanliness as part of branded messaging is going a long way in revitalizing the tourism industry.

Want more updates on new package tours and attractions in Tagaytay City? Follow #TeamOutofTown on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Bloglovin, and Pinterest for more travel ideas.

Also Read: Looking For Cheap Flights From Manila? Google Flights starts in the Philippines

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