Travel agencies project ‘strong’ recovery 

Tourists flock to surfing spots in Baler, Aurora during summer. — PHILIPPINE STAR/ MICHAEL VARCAS

THE Philippine Travel Agencies Association (PTAA) are projecting a “strong recovery” for the tourism industry due to pent-up demand.

“I can say now is that the comeback of tourism is really strong. I can see the thirst from people to still travel even though we are experiencing global crises such as oil price hikes,” PTAA President Michelle G. Taylan said on the sidelines of the group’s general membership meeting in Manila on Thursday.

“I cannot say that we are already totally recovered from the pre-pandemic period. But we are now at the ‘peakest’ level of recovery. I am no longer comparing the pre-pandemic level and now because our situation is totally different,” she added.

Ms. Taylan expects more arrivals during the year-end holidays.

“We can expect more foreign tourist arrivals at the end of the year, especially we are approaching the holiday season. We are also expecting returning overseas Filipinos (balikbayans) to arrive,” Ms. Taylan said.

Ms. Taylan is also expecting business + leisure (“bleisure”) travel to boost the industry, possibly aided by the resumption of Chinese international travel.

“If the Chinese tourism market opens, it will be a huge comeback for the tourism industry because a lot of people are waiting for them. It will give a big help to our economy. I am hoping that China opens soon,” she added.

Tourism Secretary Maria Esperanza Christina G. Frasco has said that foreign arrivals topped 1.3 million as of Aug. 28, dating back to the reopening of the borders earlier this year. — Revin Mikhael D. Ochave 

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