Palawan, Boracay top destinations once lockdowns are eased—Colliers poll
In a recent poll conducted by leading diversified professional services and investment management firm Colliers, participants were asked which local destination they would like to visit once travel restrictions are lifted.
Forty three percent picked Palawan, followed by Boracay (36 percent), Cebu (14 percent), Davao (3 percent), Bacolod (2 percent) and Iloilo (2 percent). This shows that the Philippines’ most popular places to visit remain the same after more than a year of lockdown and Filipinos will take the chance to visit them once it is safe and travel restrictions are eased.
For the time being, Colliers urges hotel and leisure players to prioritize vaccination of tourism workers, implement staff training and refresher programs, provide booking flexibility and concessions, adopt a multiple-use model (hotels used as quarantine and staycation facilities), and target domestic tourists in line with the Department of Tourism’s local tourism push.
Colliers sees a slow recovery for the leisure sector especially with domestic and international travel restrictions still in place and new COVID-19 variants dampening sentiment and travel.
In our view, domestic travel will stoke the leisure sector first, particularly with the Philippine government’s thrust to improve hotel occupancies and revive local jobs. This is also in line with its goal of raising tourism’s contribution to the economy.
Colliers believes that hotel operators should continue tweaking their marketing strategies to maximize the sector’s recovery.
Hotel operators should implement trainings and refresher programs to maintain the highest levels of quality; provide flexibility in guests’ bookings; prioritize staff vaccinations; take advantage of incentives given by the government for hotels operating amid COVID-19; and adopt a multiple-use model to cater to both leisure and quarantine guests.
Slow recovery in occupancy
Colliers saw hotel occupancy only slightly rising to 24 percent in the first half of 2021 from 20 percent in 2020 due to low foreign arrivals. This was despite the DOT allowing 14 four- and five-star hotels in Metro Manila for leisure stays. In our opinion, hotel occupancies are still likely to remain below 30 percent by the end of 2021 as we do not see an uptick in international tourists for the remainder of the year.
Colliers is a leading diversified professional services and investment management company. With operations in 66 countries, its more than 15,000 enterprising professionals work collaboratively to provide expert advice to real estate occupiers, owners and investors.
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