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Filipinos among Asia’s top travelers, says Visa

By: - Reporter / @neltayao
/ 01:35 AM October 03, 2016

“WELL-TRAVELED” could very well be the next uniquely Filipino trait, judging by the results of a recent study conducted by a global payments technology company.

The study found that the Philippines was one of the Asia-Pacific countries with the most international travelers in 2015.

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The report “Mapping the Future of Global Travel and Tourism in Asia Pacific” prepared by Visa Inc. listed the Philippines as the fourth top Asia Pacific market with the “highest average number of countries visited by a Visa credit cardholder” last year, surpassed only by Australia, New Zealand and India.

According to the report, such results indicate that “Filipinos [have joined an] emerging global traveling class,” having visited more than five countries in 2015.

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“The rising number of Filipinos traveling abroad reflects the growing affluence of the population,” said Kinan Suchaovanich, Visa’s corporate communications director for Southeast Asia region.

Such statistics were also used by Visa, with the help of Oxford Economics, to create a forecast of the travel and tourism industry for the next 10 years.

The report projected a 65-percent increase in international travel, or that some 109 million Asia Pacific households are expected to go on a trip abroad at least once a year.

Suchaovanich attributed such phenomenon to three factors: A “rising middle class” whose households make at least $20,000 (almost P1 million) or more annually, and therefore can afford to travel abroad; increased connectivity through the Internet and the expected opening of over 300 airports all over the world; and an aging population, which is “changing the travel landscape in a very different way.”

“By 2025, travelers aged 65 years old and above will more than double their international travel to an estimated 180 million trips, accounting for one-in-eight international trips globally,” said Suchaovanich.

Trends such as medical tourism would also be a contributing factor in the increase of older travelers, the report stated.

It also mapped out the spending habits of Asia-Pacific countries, and found that international travelers from China, Hong Kong and Singapore are likely to be the Top 3 “big spenders” by 2025.

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“However, emerging markets Indonesia, Vietnam and India are likely to experience the sharpest increases in spending,” the report stated.

The report made use of data culled by Visa, said Suchaovanich, which estimated the number of households traveling internationally by comparing Visa-branded cardholders in a given country who have made at least one face-to-face transaction abroad versus the population of all active cardholders in the source country.

Such forecast in the travel and tourism industry, said Suchaovanich, has a two-fold effect on a nation.

“When people travel more, more ideas, cultures and thoughts are exchanged, enriching local communities and lives. In turn, this makes a country a more attractive destination,” he said.travel

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