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Beaches remain top destination

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A study on the vacation habits of rich Asians shows that pristine beaches and upscale hotels top the list for family vacations, and the Philippines may just be in a position to grab this opportunity, according to a report by Philippine Star.

The Visa Affluent Study 2015, conducted among well-heeled Asia-Pacific families, proves that the destination is just as important as the quality of accommodation. Most preferred upscale hotels to mid-scale ones, although boutique hotels were also popular among respondents from Australia, China, Hong Kong and Singapore.

Mr. Stuart Tomlinson, Visa country manager for the Philippines and Guam, said the Philippines, with its abundance of white sand beaches, island resorts and popular shopping destinations, is well positioned to attract affluent travellers.

“The results of the study present an opportunity for the public and private sectors to boost tourism activities and make the country a preferred destination,” he said.

When asked for the main activities when travelling abroad, 44 percent of respondents said their top pick is relaxing on a beach, 36 percent want shopping in popular or large shopping centres and 35 percent prefer exploring landmarks independently.

More than a quarter, or 27 percent of respondents, said they travel to try out popular local restaurants.

In the past three years, foreign arrivals in the Philippines averaged over four million, with an average receipt of over US$4 billion per year. However, on a global scale, it accounts only for less than two percent of active tourists.