2GO Group, Inc. anticipates a spike in travel demand in the second half of the year as tourist destinations reopen amid the vaccine rollout.

“We understand the public’s yearning to travel post-pandemic, especially from younger generations who are willing to travel sooner rather than later,” 2GO Assistant Vice-President Blessie Cruz said in an e-mailed statement on Monday.

The company encouraged customers to “firm up” their travel plans in the second half of 2021, “as domestic tourism reopens and more locals are getting vaccinated against the COVID-19 (coronavirus disease 2019).”

To recall, the Philippine tourism industry’s contribution to the economy plunged to its lowest level in at least two decades in 2020.

Preliminary data compiled by the Philippine Statistics Authority showed tourism’s direct gross value added accounted for 5.4% of gross domestic product (GDP) last year, down from 12.8% of GDP in 2019.

“Admittedly, a setback in an industry that was flourishing before the COVID-19 pandemic, the dismal figures reflect the gargantuan challenge that the DoT (Department of Tourism) and the entire tourism industry are faced today,” the Tourism department said in a statement.

2GO also introduced on Monday its “Unli-Trip” offering to Boracay, Cebu, and other local destinations.

“Starting today until July 15, 2021, passengers can avail Unli-Trip tickets for sailing on Sept. 1 to Dec. 31, 2021. The all-in rate of P1,059 with a base fare of P299 is applicable to Super Value Class and Tatami accommodations, inclusive of 50kg baggage allowance, surcharge, insurance, and exclusive of meals,” it said.

“Passengers can book their travel tickets in all 2GO retail outlets nationwide. Meanwhile, a service fee is charged on top of the rate when tickets are bought from authorized agents,” it added.

2GO’s promo covers all its destinations from Batangas to Caticlan and Roxas, including Manila to Bacolod, Cagayan de Oro, Cebu, Coron, Dumaguete, Iloilo, Puerto Princesa, Butuan, Iligan, Ozamiz, Zamboanga, and vice versa.

The Tourism Department said that “for the next two years, the Philippines will be positioned as a ‘safe, fun, and competitive destination’ rooted in strong partnerships with communities and visitors.”

“This will be achieved by developing and marketing a portfolio of products that harness the natural and cultural endowments to benefit the present and future tourism generation,” it added. — Arjay L. Balinbin

Source: Business World