There have always been two sides to tourist travel growth: namely Foreign and Domestic. While foreign travel in The Philippines lags compared to other countries, domestic travel fueled by cheap airfare and promos have helped sustain the industry.
From official government documents, the number of domestic airline passengers increased by 15.9%, ending up at 9.72 million passengers in the first six months of the year – which is a new record for domestic travel.
The biggest factor for the increase in domestic travel is lower airfare - with more airline players taking primacy over what was once dominated by Cebu Pacific, cheaper airfares and the drive to the bottom is becoming a prime mover.
Gokongwei’s Cebu Pacific is still the standard for passenger volume, growing by 3.84% to 4.25 million. Following CebuPac’s lead is Philippine Airlines, from last year’s 2.39 million to 2.88 million, while sister-company AirPhil Express grew 176% to 1.85 million making it the fastest growing airline company during the said period.
Only Southeast Asian Airways (SEAir) carried a lower number of passengers compared to the previous period.
Overall, the 16% increase in growth shows the continuing approval of local consumers to lower airfares. This is a positive development to top local domestic spots that require air travel to reach such as Boracay, Cagayan De Oro, Dumaguete, Cebu, and Bohol.