REMOTE WORK combined with leisure travel is seen as a potential new market that will help rebound the travel and hospitality industries, said a senior management consultant.

According to Anthony Oundjian, managing director and senior partner of the Boston Consulting Group, the facility has resulted in a new way of traveling from anywhere during the pandemic.

“This opens a new pool of values, I would say, for the industry,” he said on Wednesday at the BusinessWorld Virtual Economic Forum 2021.

“I recently went to Siargao and worked with some of my team members and it was interesting to see how throughout the day… with all of these (video platforms) and the internet connection everyone was working,” he added.

Eylla Laire M. Gutierrez, Head of Research at AIM, recently told BusinessWorld that the so-called “workcation” model is likely to remain in place as more employees become involved in this new setup.

With more destinations reopening as vaccination rates rise, the tourism department hopes to see more travelers in the coming months.

“Boracay has seen a dramatic increase in tourist arrivals in the past two months, with a total of 32,452 visitors in October,” the department said on November 12.

“We hope to see even more visitors in the face of this positive development and to keep everyone safe as a whole, as Boracay’s fully vaccinated tourism workers are 94% vaccinated while the total eligible population is 70% vaccinated,” she added.

Mr Oundjian said domestic travel had come to the fore during the pandemic as many countries closed their borders to international visitors to help contain the spread of the coronavirus.

“But that cannot last because if we ask consumers, they are ready to go abroad, to go far. So I think for the Philippines and Thailand we should expect a very significant influx of Koreans, Europeans and US citizens “as soon as they can,” he added.

In its forecast report for 2022, Fitch Ratings said passenger demand for leisure and other personal travel is expected to recover faster than business travel, with domestic travel picking up the fastest.

“The expansion of vaccinations and the availability of booster vaccinations are paving the way for a gradual return to normal in many Asian countries,” it said. – Arjay L. Balinbin