Positive signs of Philippine tourism recovery with more than 140 percent increase in international guest searches for Airbnb stays in the country

  • Manila emerged as the most sought-after destination in the Philippines for both international and local Airbnb guests

As travel restrictions continue to ease, international travelers are increasingly looking to visit the Philippines, according to newly released Airbnb data. Travelers are also eager to stay longer and explore more places than ever before, as part of a travel revolution that’s creating more economic opportunities for locals.

Since the country eased all travel restrictions in April, there has been an incredible amount of enthusiasm among international travelers looking to travel to the Philippines. Searches by international guests for Airbnb stays in the Philippines grew by more than 140 percent year-over-year from Q1 2021 to Q1 20221,suggesting that the travel industry is once again spurring economic recovery for the country.

The Philippines is also uniquely positioned to take advantage of the Live Anywhere remote-work trend and the rise of the digital nomad, as long-term stays2 on Airbnb emerges as a popular choice for guests. Additionally, a recent survey conducted by Airbnb among Filipino guests revealed that more than a third of local guests stayed at an Airbnb listing to travel and work remotely3, further demonstrating how travelers have been increasingly living on Airbnb.

Airbnb data also revealed that travelers are raring to travel to destinations both familiar and lesser-known. Manila emerged as the most popular destination in the Philippines among both inbound and domestic guests4, followed by tourist favourites Cebu and Quezon City. Notably, more than 60 cities and towns across the country have welcomed their very first Airbnb guests since the start of the pandemic5, generating an incredible opportunity for Filipino Hosts in off-the-beaten-path destinations that have traditionally missed out on the benefits of tourism.

Amanpreet Bajaj, Airbnb’s General Manager for Southeast Asia, India, Hong Kong and Taiwan said, ​​“It is heartening to see that Airbnb guests from around the world are looking to revisit the Philippines – as well as explore it for the first time – which bodes well for the sector’s ongoing recovery and for our local community of Hosts. The blurring lines between travel and living has also led to many travelers continuing to embrace their newfound flexibility. They’re jumping at the opportunity to base themselves in the picturesque destinations in the Philippines, including both popular and lesser-known parts of the country. We remain committed to working with local Hosts across the country, as well as the Philippine government, to help ensure Filipino communities can take advantage of this travel rebound.”

The platform upgrades and innovations that Airbnb unveiled over the past year have made it easier than ever for Filipinos to become Hosts and share in the benefits of this tourism dispersal. Additionally, new search tools such asI’m Flexible, which has been used more than two billion times since May 2021, as well as the new Categories and Split Stays features, are also encouraging guests to explore new destinations — which further spread the benefits of tourism and put money back into local pockets.