Filipinos Spent Over P186 Billion Booking Trips and Accommodations Online in 2018

And they spent over P52 billion for other e-commerce purchases.
IMAGE Pixabay

If you needed more proof that Filipinos are obsessed with traveling, look no further than the billions of pesos they spent on it last year.

Filipino internet users spent an estimated $3.5 billion on travel and accommodations online in 2018. That’s over P186.5 billion spent on seat sales, hotel deals, and other travel-related expenses, all of which were bought and/or booked digitally.

That figure came from Digital in 2019, a global study on internet usage by social media agency We Are Social and social management platform Hootsuite. One of its main focuses was analyzing the e-commerce industry of each country and how its consumers are shopping online.

For the Philippines, travel and accommodations emerged as the largest in terms of consumer spending among the eight consumer categories Digital in 2019. It had such a wide lead that its P186-billion figure is more than triple the total spend for all the other categories.


Coming at a very far second is the electronics and physical media category, which online Filipino shoppers spent P12.3 billion on. Completing the top three is the fashion and beauty category, with Filipinos spending P10.6 billion for buying clothes and cosmetics online.

At the bottom of the list is digital music, with Filipinos spending P1.8 billion buying and streaming music online. Not bad for the country that listens to the most music each day.

While these billion-peso figures are high, e-commerce in the Philippines still pales in comparison to traditional retail. Digital in 2019 reported that e-commerce sales only accounted for 1.2 percent of total retail spending in the country.

But the growth in the numbers can’t be ignored. Digital in 2019 revealed that total spending increased between 15 and 30 percent for each of the eight categories above. It’s a sign that more and more Filipinos are turning online for their shopping needs.

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Lorenzo Kyle Subido
Lorenzo Kyle Subido is a staff writer for Esquire Philippines.
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