Michelle G. Taylan
Michelle G. Taylan is the immediate past president of PTAA (Philippine
Travel Agencies Association) and the chair of PTAA Travel Tour Expo
2023. She is also the president of Klik 'n Fly Travel and Tours.
Filipino travellers are venturing out to explore the world, seeking
new experiences, cultural immersion, and affordable destinations, shares
Michelle G. Taylan, chairman of PTAA Travel Tour Expo 2023, amidst other insights into the Philippines market.
Filipinos' top 5 destinations
According to Philippine Travel Agencies Association’s (PTAA)'s recent
findings, Filipino travellers are primarily drawn to Southeast Asian
destinations like Japan, Singapore, Vietnam, Malaysia, Thailand,
Cambodia, and South Korea, with visa-free countries such as Israel and
Taiwan being particularly popular.
These destinations offer convenience, affordability, and proximity to
the Philippines. Europe is also favoured, thanks to its rich culture
and budget-friendly prices, allowing for extended stays in countries
like Georgia, Turkey, France, Czech Republic, Portugal, Morocco, The
Balkans, Spain, and others.
The US remains a sought-after destination, especially for Filipinos
with relatives there. Filipino travelers prioritise convenience,
affordability, and cultural experiences when choosing their
What’s hot and trendy
Tour packaging services continue to dominate the market in the
Philippines, representing around 60% of all services provided by
Nevertheless, there is a growing inclination towards FIT (free
independent travel) tours, driven by the desire for enhanced privacy and
the freedom to personalise travel itineraries according to individual
preferences and schedules.
Digital adoption scorecard
The integration of technology will continue to be crucial for the
recovery and growth of the travel industry, presenting opportunities for
businesses to enhance their services and attract a larger customer
base. It is imperative to recognise the industry's need to keep pace
with technological advancements in order to remain relevant and deliver
improved experiences to clients.
A significant percentage, approximately 50-60%, of travel agents in
the Philippines have already embraced digital transformation. Online
bookings have gained prominence, facilitating seamless transactions with
clients, particularly those opting for FIT arrangements. Technological
advancements have also enabled travel agents to work remotely, enabling
easier access to information and fostering better connectivity.
Digital transformation offers numerous benefits, empowering travel
agents to streamline administrative tasks such as reservations,
invoicing, and customer support through automation. Digital tools
provide valuable insights into customer behavior and preferences,
enabling travel agents to deliver personalised and tailored travel
Social media platforms, including TikTok, Instagram, and Facebook,
have become indispensable marketing tools for travel agencies, allowing
them to reach wider audiences and promote their services effectively.
Moreover, establishing a dedicated 24/7 customer care hotline can offer
clients peace of mind, particularly during emergency situations.
Putting the A in travel agents
The pandemic has brought about a shift in work dynamics, prompting
many individuals to embrace remote work. This change has its advantages
and limitations, impacting both organizations and individuals. Taylan as
the president of Klik 'N Fly, continually explores methods to
incentivise employees to return to the office, offering additional
benefits such as transportation allowances, complimentary travel
opportunities, cash incentives, and other rewards. Taylan firmly
believes that fostering a collaborative office environment promotes
skill development, including customer service expertise, and facilitates
knowledge sharing among colleagues.
In the travel industry, customer service emerges as a critical skill
for aspiring travel agents, alongside industry knowledge and technical
qualifications. Travel agents should have an arsenal of excellent
interpersonal skills, effective communication abilities, efficient time
management, and strong sales and negotiation acumen. Furthermore,
expertise in information technology and a solid understanding of
business operations are essential.
To excel in the competitive travel industry, travel agents must
possess a well-rounded combination of skills, knowledge, and
qualifications. The significance of customer service cannot be
underestimated, as it plays a pivotal role in delivering exceptional
service and creating memorable travel experiences for clients. With the
right attitude and skill set, travel agents can set themselves apart
from the competition and establish themselves as industry leaders.