MORE VACATIONERS. The number of travelers at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) for the holidays is expected to be a little close to pre-pandemic figures. There were over 2.2 million international passengers at the NAIA in December 2019. (PNA file photo by Cristina Arayata)

MANILA – More passengers are expected at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) this holiday season as the number of "Undas" or All Saints' Day travelers that used the country's main gateway has increased by 268 percent compared to last year.

Data from the Manila International Airport Authority (MIAA) showed there were a total of 1,034,820 domestic and international passengers at the NAIA from Oct. 25 to Nov. 4. In 2021, the total outbound and inbound passengers was 280,936.

The number of international travelers at the NAIA during that period has increased by 445 percent, or from 70,010 in 2021 to 420,082 in 2022. Likewise, total domestic passengers has increased by 202 percent, or from 203,926 to 614,738.

"We are indeed expecting a significant increase in incoming and outgoing passengers this holiday season, especially since the country has loosened its travel restrictions," Immigration spokesperson Dana Sandoval told the Philippine News Agency on Wednesday.

"Hopefully, we can come a little closer to pre-pandemic figures because of it," Sandoval continued.

At the NAIA, international arrivals for the whole month of December 2019 reached 1,245,747.

Outbound international passengers in December 2019 reached 1,036,864.

Sandoval said the Bureau of Immigration has deployed more personnel at the airports to ensure that its manpower is on full force this holiday season.

"We support the efforts of the national government to revive and rejuvenate the tourism sector, and we will ensure that we will provide the best quality service to make things easier and faster for all travelers," Sandoval said.

The official added that the bureau is happy that international travel is once again blossoming. (PNA)