PH lost P400B income in 2020 due to slide in foreign arrivals amid pandemic
MANILA, Philippines — The Philippines lost around P400 billion in income in 2020 after foreign tourist arrivals plunged amid the coronavirus pandemic, the Department of Tourism (DOT) reported Wednesday.
During the hearing of the House committee on Northern Luzon quadrangle on the status of the tourism sector in the region, DOT OIC-Undersecretary Roberto Alabado said that the country only had 1.3 million foreign tourism arrivals last year, way lower than the 8.3 million foreign visitors recorded in 2019.
“This is a very big blow for us. We actually approximately lost around P400 billion in income because of the missing foreign tourists,” Alabado said, adding that the decline in foreign tourist arrivals affected 5.7 million jobs in the country.
To help revive the tourism sector, Alabado said DOT has set its sight to focusing on domestic tourism.
“If we compare the income in 2019 earned from the domestic market, we are counting on a P3 trillion market. This was what we heard in 2019,” Alabado said.
“So the easiest way to revive our tourism is through the domestic market. That’s why, right now, we are promoting and at the same time developing new products, timely and efficient institutional support, and effective strategic communication,” the tourism official added.
Tourism Secretary Bernadette Romulo-Puyat earlier said that with the improvement of community quarantine levels in parts of the country, efforts will be intensified to help revive tourism activities and restore job and livelihood opportunities.
The tourism secretary, however, stressed that there is still a need to follow travel protocols imposed.
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