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Why Boracay Will Remain A Hotspot

A study on the vacation habits of affluent Asians shows that pristine beaches and upscale hotels top the list for family vacations.

The Visa Affluent Study 2015, conducted among rich Asia-Pacific families, shows that the destination is just as important as the quality of accommodation. Upscale hotels to mid-scale ones were the most preferred, although boutique hotels were also popular among respondents from Australia, China, Hong Kong and Singapore.

The study also looked into the travel patterns of well-off consumers in eight major markets in Asia Pacific. According to findings, four out of five, or 82 percent of respondents have traveled with their families in the past 12 months and that they prefer to spend their holidays within the region.

Japan ranked as the top destination, over the past 12 months, garnering 26 percent of respondents’ preference. This was followed by Hong Kong and Australia. Around the same time, the survey showed the region’s most frequent affluent travelers are those from Singapore and China (3.1 trips each), followed by Hong Kong (2.8 trips) and India (2.0 trips).

James Lim, Visa head of consumer products for Asia and Pacific, said family vacations have become important occasions that affluent families in the region look forward to every year.

Visa country manager for the Philippines and Guam, Stuart Tomlinson, said the Philippines, with its abundance of white sand beaches, island resorts and popular shopping destinations, is well positioned to attract affluent travelers. “The results of the study present an opportunity for the public and private sectors to boost tourism activities and make the country a preferred destination,” he said.

Boracay, in particular, matches such a destination and is in a very good position to grab this opportunity. When asked for the main activities when traveling abroad, 44 percent of respondents said their top pick is relaxing on a beach, 36 percent want shopping in popular or large shopping centers and 35 percent prefer exploring landmarks independently. 27 percent of respondents, said they travel to try out popular local restaurants. And Boracay offers all these in a neatly wrapped package.

Foreign arrivals in the Philippines averaged over four million in the past three years, with an average receipt of over $4 billion per year. It seems quite a lot, but on a global scale, it accounts for only less than two percent of active tourists.

The market is huge. This means Boracay is yet to hit its peak as a favorite destination.

*Published in print version (Voice of the South, Volume 12, No. 8)

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