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Japan ranks as top leisure travel destination for Filipino travellers: Visa study

According to the data, 24% of surveyed Filipino respondents have traveled overseas for leisure or business purposes in the past year. This trend aligns with a broader travel resurgence across Asia Pacific, with 37% of those surveyed reporting overseas travels within the same period.

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Visa, a global player in digital payments, has published its most recent Green Shoots Radar study[1]. This quarterly report analyzes consumer sentiments across various sectors, such as financial services, commerce, and travel.

The study reveals a surge in travel frequency among Filipino travelers. According to the data, 24% of surveyed Filipino respondents have traveled overseas for leisure or business purposes in the past year. This trend aligns with a broader travel resurgence across Asia Pacific, with 37% of those surveyed reporting overseas travels within the same period.

Japan emerged as the top leisure destination for Filipino travelers, with 32% visiting in the past year. Singapore (22%) followed by Hong Kong (21%) and Thailand (18%) were the next most popular destinations. For business trips, Singapore led the list with 25%, followed by Japan (23%), and the United States tied with Hong Kong at 18%.

Filipino travelers prefer to book flight tickets directly from the provider’s website (44%). Among those respondents who booked their accommodations through Online Travel Agencies and paid the full amount upon booking, using credit cards is the most popular payment mode (41%), followed by mobile/e-wallets (28%).

Jeff Navarro, Country Manager for Visa Philippines, said, “As cross-border travel gains momentum in the Philippines and the region, we have a significant opportunity to maintain visibility throughout travelers’ journeys. This involves being present during destination searches and bookings, using Visa cards on travel apps for smoother transactions, and engaging consumers with authentic travel and shopping content to create a secure and seamless digital payments experience for everyone, everywhere.”

The future of travel remains promising, with 65% of Filipino respondents planning overseas leisure travel in the next 12 months. The top three leisure destinations intended in the next 12 months are Japan (38%), followed by South Korea (29%) and Singapore (16%). For business travel, Japan (19%), Canada (13%), and South Korea (12%) are the most likely destinations.

According to Visa’s Global Travel Intentions 2023 study[2], majority (89%) of Filipino travelers used credit (44%) and debit (39%) cards when travelling, for the benefits of cards’ wide acceptance (56%), accepted at ATMs (49%), and ability to be used both online and within apps (43%).

Visa’s most recent Consumer Payment Attitudes 2023 study[3] data also reflect cards as the preferred mode of payment when travelling, where 25% of surveyed Filipinos use credit or debit cards online and 21% use via swipe or insert when traveling overseas.


[1] The Green Shoots Radar survey was conducted online in 14 markets covering more than 8,000 respondents, including 500 consumers in the Philippines in January 2024, towards male and female respondents aged 18-65 with a minimum household income of PHP 12,000.

[2] The Global Travel Intentions Study is the largest and longest running global consumer insights program from Visa, which surveys travelers across continents on their travel journey and payment behavior. The study was conducted across April-June 2023 to more than 1,000 Filipino respondents.

[3] The Visa Consumer Payment Attitudes Study was conducted in Oct-Nov 2023 via online interviews with 1.000 Filipino consumers across the country with a demographic mix of ages (18-65), genders and income levels.

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Destinations

Singapore Cable Car launches world’s first Skyorb Cabins

Exclusively designed for the Singapore Cable Car, the SkyOrb Cabin is the world’s first chrome-finished spherical cable car cabin. Unlike conventional cabins, the spherical design of the SkyOrb Cabins breaks the boundaries of traditional cable car aesthetics, offering a futuristic and captivating look.

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Mount Faber Leisure Group officially launched the new futuristic SkyOrb Cabins on the Singapore Cable Car – Mount Faber Line. The launch of the SkyOrb Cabins took place at Mount Faber Peak, as part of the Singapore Cable Car’s 50th anniversary celebrations. The event was attended by Bob Tan, Chairman of Sentosa Development Corporation and Thien Kwee Eng, Chief Executive Officer of Sentosa Development Corporation, as well as Michael Syn, Chairman of Mount Faber Leisure Group and Buhdy Bok, Managing Director of Mount Faber Leisure Group.

SkyOrb Cabins – A cabin like no other in the world

Exclusively designed for the Singapore Cable Car, the SkyOrb Cabin is the world’s first chrome-finished spherical cable car cabin. Unlike conventional cabins, the spherical design of the SkyOrb Cabins breaks the boundaries of traditional cable car aesthetics, offering a futuristic and captivating look.

The SkyOrb cabin boasts a spectacular view through its glass-bottomed floor

Fitted with glass-bottomed floors to allow guests to view the scenery below their feet, the new cabins offer guests an elevated journey with a stunning panoramic view of the skyline. As night falls, a captivating ring of lights surrounds the cabin windows, casting an illuminating glow that imparts a distinctly futuristic ambience. 

The SkyOrb Cabins have been thoughtfully designed with double window louvres at the front and triple window louvres at the rear, providing enhanced air ventilation for guests on board. To offer an exclusive experience, only seven SkyOrb Cabins will join the existing fleet, enriching the vibrancy of the Sentosa skyline. 

SkyOrb Cabin on the Mount Faber Line

“Each SkyOrb cabin, a gleaming chrome orb soaring through the sky, embodies modern design. These cabins offer guests a one-of-a-kind experience, taking them on a discovery between Mount Faber Peak and Sentosa, unveiling breathtaking views along the way,” said Mr Buhdy Bok, Managing Director of Mount Faber Leisure Group.

Collaboratively designed between Mount Faber Leisure Group and renowned cable car cabin manufacturer CWA, the SkyOrb Cabins showcase product innovation and commitment to creating new unique experiences for guests. Based in Olten, Switzerland, CWA has enjoyed a long partnership with Mount Faber Leisure Group since the first generation of the Singapore Cable Car cabins was launched in 1974.

The SkyOrb Cabins will be open for guests to experience from 20 March 2024 and tickets will be available for sale at the Singapore Cable Car Mount Faber and Sentosa Station ticketing counters from the same day. Mount Faber Line and Cable Car Sky Pass ticket holders have the privilege of upgrading one-way of their round trip (between Mount Faber and Sentosa Cable Car Stations) to a SkyOrb Cabin experience. This upgrade costs $15 per person on weekdays, and $20 per person on weekends and Public Holidays.

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Travel

Tips to prep your motorcycle for safe road trips

Here are key steps to ensure your motorcycle is in top condition and ready for a safe and enjoyable riding season.

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With longer days and sunny weather, the open road beckons to two-wheel owners.  Preparing a motorcycle after it’s been in storage involves several key steps to ensure it’s ready for the road after the winter months. CTEK, the global player in vehicle charging solutions, provides recommendations for riders to prep their vehicles for peak performance and peace of mind on the open road.

“Life on two wheels epitomizes freedom and exhilaration, but unforeseen challenges can arise at any turn,” shared Bobbie DuMelle, President of CTEK North America. ‘With proper preparation, riders can bid farewell to battery woes and enjoy their ride.”

CTEK recommends some key steps to ensure your motorcycle is in top condition and ready for a safe and enjoyable riding season:

Vehicle Inspection

Give the entire motorcycle a thorough visual inspection, checking for any loose bolts, leaks, or damage. Pay attention to areas such as the frame, exhaust system, and bodywork. Do a thorough inspection of your motorcycle including fluids, tires, brakes, lights and electrics, chain and sprockets, fuel system, air filter and suspension.

Battery Test

Ensure the battery terminals are clean and free of corrosion. Charge the battery if it’s been sitting idle. CTEK recommends using the CTEK CS FREE, which features Adaptive Boost technology to ensure precise delivery of power and swiftly charge any 12V lead acid or lithium battery, resurrecting a dormant motorcycle battery within 15 minutes without the need for a power outlet. With intuitive LED indicators, the CS FREE keeps riders informed, signaling when their battery is primed for ignition. Moreover, it offers sustained maintenance charging, whether via conventional grid power, solar panels, or a 12V service battery, effectively extending battery lifespan by up to threefold during idle seasons.

Maintenance Tasks

If the motorcycle has been sitting for an extended period, drain and replace the fuel. Check fuel lines and filters for any signs of damage. Clean and lubricate the chain, and check for proper tension. Inspect sprockets for wear and replace if necessary. Inspect and clean or replace the air filter to ensure optimal engine performance. Check suspension components for any signs of wear or leaks. Inspect fork seals and adjust suspension settings as needed. Test the throttle, clutch, and brakes to ensure they are functioning smoothly. Lubricate cables if necessary.

Test Ride

After completing all maintenance tasks, take the motorcycle for a short test ride to ensure everything is functioning properly. When you’re on the road, take your CTEK CS FREE with you. With a built-in rechargeable battery fueled by rapid USB-C input, the CS FREE retains its charge for up to a year, rendering it a steadfast companion for on-the-go storage. Equipped with versatile USB-A and USB-C ports, it ensures seamless connectivity for charging smartphones, PCs, tablets, cameras, and an array of devices, ensuring uninterrupted adventures.

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Travel

Travel tips from Emirates’ multicultural cabin crew

Solo travel has been steadily gaining ground post pandemic. In a 2023 survey conducted by Solo Travel World in the United States, 68% of participants identified themselves as independent travelers.

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For Filipinos who are planning to go on a solo vacation this year, Emirates has curated special tips and tricks to help customers embrace the sheer thrill, freedom, and adventure of traveling alone.

Solo travel has been steadily gaining ground post pandemic. In a 2023 survey conducted by Solo Travel World in the United States, 68% of participants identified themselves as independent travelers.

Even among Filipinos, solo travel continues to grow. A post-pandemic report published by travel accommodation platform Airbnb in August 2023 revealed that solo travel in 2022 grew by 185% year-on-year compared to 2021. The report also revealed that private room bookings in 2022 grew by 200%.

Solo travel offers a unique opportunity to explore the world on your own terms, without having to accommodate the whims and wants of travel companions. Whether you’re a seasoned solo traveler or planning your first independent trip, Emirates’ multicultural cabin crew will transform the way you perceive travel.

On booking hotels…

Alessandra Piper from the UK, who has been flying with Emirates for over nine years shares her hacks: “I make it a point to go on at least two solo trips a year. Always book hotels with a flexible booking policy, as you may decide to stay longer in some places at the spur of the moment. The flexible policy will ensure you do not get stuck with cancellation fees.”

On gastronomy…

Eabha Sloyan from Ireland channeled her inner foodie: “Food markets are absolutely fabulous. In my most recent trip I visited the famous Tsukiji Market in Tokyo. Spending the evening in the market and bingeing on lots of sushi was a culinary adventure I could only dream of. The energy, fresh food and exquisite flavors made it an unforgettable experience. It’s a place I could go back to again and again.”

On safety and local culture…

Shamiso Guvava, from the UK, who has been with Emirates for over a year: “My cabin crew training changed my outlook of a solo trip. It taught me vigilance and attentiveness. Safety is of utmost importance. My training also equipped me with the confidence to communicate with people from diverse backgrounds and take guidance from locals and fellow travelers.”

On exploring…

Irfan Huseinovic, a Bosnian, who has been at Emirates for over a year: “My trick is to walk everywhere as it makes it easier to navigate and explore the city at your own pace. My longest solo vacation was in Malta, when I spent 25 days on the beautiful island. It was an incredible trip filled with self-discovery, adventure, and unbelievable experiences. From exploring ancient ruins to soaking up the sun on breath-taking beaches, every moment was magical.”

Micaela Olivieri, an Argentinian cabin crew member with Emirates for over two years, listed her top three must-dos: “First things first, always take care of yourself and your personal belongings. When walking in a crowded area, ensure your bag is in front of you rather than behind. Secondly, be situationally aware of the culture and respect it. Lastly, always trust your intuition and use your past experiences for guidance.”

Alessandra Piper: “The best thing I’ve learned so far: don’t be glued to your phone! Keep it in a secure place so you aren’t tempted to keep checking it. Look around, take in the sights and enjoy the view!”

Emirates, the world’s largest international airline, has over 21,500 multicultural cabin crew members and flies to over 140 destinations with a fleet of more than 260 aircraft. The airline trains its crew in safety, security, medical emergencies, hospitality, and service to delight customers from over 200 nationalities.

Emirates offers its cabin crew a range of benefits including competitive salary and medical benefits, accommodation, annual leave, annual leave tickets and deeply discounted flight tickets for themselves – to solo travel to their hearts’ content – and for their family and friends so that they can travel together too. For those who want to combine solo travel with flying as a career, Emirates is actively recruiting cabin crew from around the world. Its recruitment team are hosting open days and assessments in more than 460 cities across six continents. Aspiring Emirates cabin crew can check out www.emiratesgroupcareers.com/cabin-crew regularly for more details and open day schedules in their city or country.

Emirates operates 25 weekly flights from Manila, Cebu, and Clark to Dubai, connecting Filipino travelers to over 140 destinations in 76 countries and territories across Africa, the Americas, Asia, Europe, the Middle East, and the Pacific from its global hub in Dubai.

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