Global travel firm to expand cruise offerings in PHL

MANILA-- The Travel Corporation (TravCorp), a global travel company that manages tour operations, hotels and cruises, is looking to expand its offerings in the Philippines through some of its key brands.

TravCorp, together with its general sales agent in the Philippines, Rajah Travel has plans to start offering cruise travels in its six-star luxury river cruise line.

The cruise, Uniworld Boutique River Cruise Collection, will start to offer cruise travels within Asia and in Europe to Filipinos this year.

Uniworld Asia manager Henry Yu said that it is the right time for Filipinos travelers to avail of premium river cruise travel given the current spending capacity in the Philippines, particularly among millennials.

"This market (Philippines) has a very big potential. First of all, this is a young market that is willing to travel. Filipinos are now looking for something different. We think river cruise is a potential product in Asia and I think Philippines is the shining star in the future," Yu said.

Uniworld entered the Asian market four years ago and considers Malaysia, Singapore, Hong Kong, and Taiwan as their top markets.

Rajah Travel Corp. chairperson Aileen Clemente affirmed that more Filipinos now go on premium travels and tours. She said that international travel brands are also taking advantage of the country's fast-growing economy.

"Everybody knows that we are a fast-growing economy and that companies come at a time when Filipinos are starting to travel and access level is getting better. We are good shoppers and we are good travelers. We are thrifty when it comes to appreciating culture and destinations," Clemente said.

Clemente further said Filipinos now understand the value of premium tour packages as compared to individual online bookings.

Another company, Insight Vacations said the Philippine outbound market sees more middle-aged Filipino professionals and their families travelling to more exotic destinations.

Insight Vacations-Asia president Evon Ler said the Philippines is now their second biggest source market in Asia after Singapore with double digit growth over the past years.

Most of the Filipinos they have served have travelled to most known European destinations with interests now shifting to places like Scandinavia, South America, and the Baltic states, Ler added.

Insight Vacations offers premium and luxury escorted tours, accommodation, and dining in popular tourism destinations worldwide.

The travel firm Contiki has also noted a rise in Filipinos aged 18 to 35 years old travelling to European destinations.

Contiki director of sales and marketing Sam Morrah said Filipinos travel and stay in Europe longer than other Asian counterparts.

"The younger crowd really prefer a lot of the blockbuster destinations like Rome, Paris, Amsterdam, Berlin, and Prague. So it is those mainstream cities they still want to see," Morrah noted.

Morrah described the Philippines as an "emerging market" compared to more established Asian countries such as Singapore and Japan.

Source: Philippines News Agency