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Upscale hotels popular for New Year stays

Pinoys choose ‘outdoorsy’ destinations

A YEAR of pandemic restrictions have prompted travelers to ring in the new year with more upscale stays, according to travel booking website, Agoda.

Using data Agoda collected from Dec. 10 for New Year’s Eve bookings, the company saw four- and five-star accommodations being the accommodation of choice globally to celebrate the new year in 2020, in contrast to 2019 where one- to 3.5-star hotels were in first place and upscale hotels in second, with the exception of Taiwan, Thailand, and the United States which continued to favor one- to 3.5-star hotels this year.

Four- and five-star hotel bookings saw an increase of 13 percentage points in 2020 compared to the year prior, according to a company statement.

In the Philippines, with travel restrictions loosening, Filipinos continued to enjoy their New Year’s Eve celebrations in Manila, Cebu, and Tagaytay which occupied the top three Domestic Destinations in both 2019 and 2020. Both the 2019 and 2020 lists feature similar domestic destinations including Baguio, Boracay, and Palawan, although 2020 saw the entry of Batangas and Laguna which Agoda said is because “Filipinos are also exploring destinations that are ‘outdoorsy’ for a quick respite.”

“While 2020 might have upended many travelers’ plans, Agoda’s data that 4- to 5-star hotels are most popular among New Year’s Eve bookings this year shows us that there’s great desire among travelers to pamper themselves and optimistically usher in the New Year in style. We are heartened that travelers are not letting the pandemic dampen their travel spirits, and are also spending the New Year exploring domestic destinations less traveled, supporting local tourism communities in those areas,” Errol Cooke, vice-president of partner services at Agoda, said in the statement.

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