Coronavirus menace to cost PH tourism P42.9 B – DOT
MANILA, Philippines — The local tourism industry is expected to lose an estimated P42.9 billion from February to April this year
due to the coronavirus disease 19 (COVID-19) scare, the Department of Tourism (DOT) reported Wednesday.
During the House committees on economic affairs and tourism’s hearing on the effects of the virus on the country’s economy, Tourism Secretary Bernadette Romulo-Puyat said the projected losses in the tourism industry was based on forecast tourist arrivals from China, Hong Kong, Macau, and Taiwan—countries where a travel ban is currently in place due to viral outbreak.
Puyat said the country is seen to lose over P16.80 billion in February, P14.11 billion in March, and P11.98 billion in April.
In the same hearing, the finance department said that the tourism industry contributes 12.7 percent of the country’s gross domestic product (GDP).
Data from DOT showed that 1.63 million of the total 7.4 million international tourist arrivals from January to November of 2019 were Chinese.
Further, Chinese nationals are also considered the second biggest tourist spenders in the Philippines next to the South Koreans, spending $979.4 million or around P51 billion in the country in the first half of 2019.
House Speaker Alan Peter Cayetano earlier called on the House committees on tourism and economic affairs to work with DOT to assess the short- and medium-term effects of the novel coronavirus in the tourism sector.
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