Tuesday, March 5, 2024

Visa Applications From Philippines Breach Pre-Pandemic Level By 35%

Visa Applications From Philippines Breach Pre-Pandemic Level By 35%

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The Philippines posted the highest growth in terms of visa applications across Southeast Asia, indicating restored travel confidence among Filipinos, visa service firm VFS Global reported Tuesday.

In a briefing in Taguig, VFS Global head for Australasia Kaushik Ghosh said the volume of visa applications in 2023 surpassed the pre-pandemic level in 2019 by at least 35 percent.

“This healthy rise in visa applications from the Philippines last year indicates that travelers’ confidence has been restored, and people are ready to explore their favorite global destinations again. We are confident that this positive travel momentum will sustain in 2024 as well,” he said.

In Asia Pacific, Ghosh said the Philippines has the highest growth, followed by Indonesia with 8 percent.

“In Asia Pacific, the Philippines have the highest in terms of volume of applications. In terms of growth, it also has the highest — compared to 2022, it grew also around 48 percent, the best in the region,” he said.

The visa service firm, citing restrictions to disclose further data, declined to provide the actual visa figures but said the most popular international destinations among Filipino applicants were Australia, Belgium, Canada, Denmark, Finland, Italy, Germany, Netherlands, Saudi Arabia and Switzerland.

Ghosh, in his report, also cited the strong demand for contactless and personalized visa services as the “defining trend in the 2023 visa application patterns”.

“I think the outlook of travelers has changed. They look at various services that are user-friendly and personalized,” he said.

In the Philippines, VFS Global provides administrative visa services to travelers going to Australia, Austria, Belgium, Canada, Croatia, Czech Republic, Denmark, the United Arab Emirates, Finland, Italy, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Lithuania, Malaysia, Malta, Netherlands, New Zealand, Nigeria, Norway, Saudi Arabia, Slovenia, South Africa, Sweden, Switzerland, the United Kingdom, Ukraine and the United States. (PNA)