MANILA - More Filipinos have chosen to book hotels in Metro Manila as their destination for Holy Week, according to accommodations booking website Agoda.
According to the company's booking data for April 14 to 21 this year, Manila and Cebu are the first and second most booked destinations of Filipinos for the Lenten season.
"Strong familial ties, spending a week of contemplation, introspection, and reflection with loved ones only seems fitting," the company said.
The 3rd most booked spot goes to Boracay, which used to be in 4th place after Palawan.
Agoda attributed Boracay's increase to the reopening of the island after its controversial closure.
"This time off also serves as a way to start the summer festivities for Pinoys, with Baguio, Batangas, and Palawan completing the list of 10 for this year’s Holy Week travels," the company added in its release.
In recent years, the Department of Tourism has also been promoting the Philippines as a 'religious' destination.
It also promoted faith tourism, especially in Intramuros, which is home to several Spanish era churches. Last year, one million people visited Intramuros for Holy Week alone.
Instead of other local destinations, cities like Tokyo, Hong Kong, and Taipei are now in 4th to 6th place in Agoda's list.
"Four out of the ten most booked destinations via Agoda by Filipinos for the Easter period are in neighboring Asian countries," Agoda said. "Seoul and Taipei have nudged their way into the top ten destinations for the first time in at least three years, while Tokyo and Hong Kong have risen up the ranks in the top five."
The company pointed out that "With spring in full swing, these four cities make for great jump-off points for travelers looking to reconnect with their spirituality through the beauty of nature." Countries like Japan and South Korea are expected to have cherry blossoms in full bloom this month.