As the number of COVID-19 cases in the Philippines continues to increase and the quarantine has been extended to until the end of May 2020 for some cities in the Philippines, we did a survey on the on current mindset of Filipino travelers and their views on future travel.
The Future of Travel
To date, over half of Filipinos (62%) have canceled or postponed upcoming travel plans due to coronavirus (COVID-19).
More than eighty percent say they would not get on a plane right now and would opt to travel via a plane in the two month to a year.
To date, domestic airline companies such as Philippine Airlines and Cebu Pacific Air are coming out with safety guidelines and procedures in ensuring contactless flights from extensive disinfections, frequent sanitation, aircraft air filters, and rapid antibody testing for pilots and crews.
Passenger boats are no exception. Fifty four percent (54%) said that they will only travel via passenger boat in a years time.
The Experience Philippines Poll results show a notable gender difference, with women taking a more cautious approach compared to men when it comes to their willingness to travel. For example, there are more women (67%) are unwilling to travel on an airplane versus (33%) men.
Physical Contact and Social Distancing
For the travel industry, there are indications that it could take several months for business to pick up even after the COVID-19 curve flattens, with a significant percentage of Filipinos envision staying relatively close to home or where they work for several months following the crisis.
In the 30 days after the COVID-19 curve flattens, for example, “the surveys shows they are sixty seven percent (67%) as not likely to greet people with a handshake much less having physical contact” which we find absolutely interesting. This makes you ask the question, how will dating be like post COVID-19?
The charts below shows how long it will take after the curve flattens before a majority of Filipinos embrace various activities.
On Dinners and Malls
When Filipinos are asked how long after the curve flattens it will be before they will dine out, 558 respondents (55%) say they’ll do it within 30 days. The number rises to almost 75% when you include those who will go to a restaurant within three months, and this is true for both men and women surveyed. For sure, there will be guidelines on dine in for restaurant. It is quite interesting to see how future of restaurant dine-in would be like.
Quite surprisingly, around thirty percent (30%) would be going to mall and watching a movie within 30 days after the quarantine is lifted and the COVID-19 flattens.
Accommodations and Gyms
One fourth of Filipinos surveyed (22%) say they will stay in a hotel within a month of the curve flattening. Add another 25 percent (47% combined) who say they’ll stay in a hotel within three months. By six months out, seven out of 10 (73%) respondents say they’ll visit a hotel, hostel or resort.
The numbers are a bit more dismal for the fitness industry, with only 22% Filipino saying they’ll go back to gym within a month after the government signals that COVID-19 is abating. Only about more than half of Filipinos surveyed (55%) think they’ll be ready to hit the gym at the six-month point while the other half is looking at a year before they go to the gym.
Live Shows and Events
The live events industry is expected to have the longest road to recovery. Only 8 percent of Filipinos say they’ll get on a live event show within a month of the curve flattening. A combined majority (76%) say they will feel comfortable attending an live event or social gathering within a six months to a year of the curve flattening.
The good news for the domestic travel and tourism industry is that around eighty four (84%) of Filipinos will opt to travel domestically once the curve flattens. This is a good opportunity for local tourism organizations to start providing more meaningful local experiences, promoting sustainable solutions, and improving the skill sets of tourism frontliners to encourage more locals to explore more the different Philippine provinces.
Please remember that this is a snapshot taken at a very dark time more than 50 days of Enhanced Community Quarantine. At the moment, physical contact, social gatherings, taking public transports are considered high risk. However, some of these concerns may change when the country starts to recover from the crisis.
For more information, see the complete response via this link here.
Methodology: This survey was fielded online among a nationally representative sample of 1,020 Filipino adults from April 26-30, 2020.