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DOT reports ‘resurgence’ in domestic tourism in 2021

/ 05:59 PM June 29, 2022
DOT reports 'resurgence' in domestic tourism in 2021

FILE PHOTO: Sunset at Manila Bay. INQUIRER FILES

MANILA, Philippines — The Department of Tourism (DOT) reported Wednesday a “resurgence” in domestic tourism last year despite persistent threats of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Citing results of the Philippine Tourism Satellite Accounts (PTSA), the DOT said there was a 38.16-percent increase in domestic tourism in 2021. This rate means 37,279,282 trips last year compared to the 26,982,233 trips recorded in 2020.

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“The DOT attributes the resurgence of domestic tourism to the collaborative efforts of the national and local government units to standardize health and safety protocols, reinforced by the active participation of tourism stakeholders from the private sector,” DOT Branding and Marketing Communications Assistant Secretary Howard Lance Uyking said in a statement.

According to the PTSA data, the regions that topped as “overnight destinations” for local tourists in 2021 are the National Capital Region with 1,973,851 trips, Calabarzon with 1,953,419 trips, and Central Luzon with 1,905,758 visits.

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The same report also showed a 4.6-percent increase in employed tourism workers, from 4.7 million in 2020 to 4.9 million in 2021.

Tourism, the DOT noted, contributed 11.1 percent to the country’s total employment last year.

“The Department’s aggressive campaign on domestic tourism carried out with our regional offices, and with the help of local tourism offices across the country, restored Filipinos’ confidence to travel,” Uyking explained.

Drop in foreign visitors

The DOT, however, reported a decline in foreign visitors as Philippine borders remained closed in 2021.

The agency said 163,879 foreigners visited the Philippines from January to December 2021, a decrease of 88.95 percent from the 1,482,535 arrivals in 2020.

According to the DOT, 39,326 foreign arrivals came from the United States, 15,024 from Japan, 9,674 from China, 7,202 from India, 6,781 from Canada, and 6,456 from South Korea.

Turkey and the United Kingdom contributed more than 4,000 arrivals each while the United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia each accounted for more than 2,000 arrivals last year, the DOT added.

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Still citing the PTSA report, the DOT said 86.92 percent or 142,448 air arrivals in 2021 were recorded at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport in Manila as Mactan-Cebu International Airport in Cebu welcomed 11,119 international visitors, while Clark International Airport in Pampanga reported 9,964 arrivals last year.

“Visitor spending or tourist receipts generated in 2021 recorded an estimated PhP 8.49 billion, a decrease of 89.67% from the visitor receipts of PhP 82.24 billion recorded in the same period of the previous year,” the DOT said in a statement.

In 2021, the DOT noted that a tourist spent an average of P7,000 a day in the Philippines and stayed for an average of around 10 nights.

“PTSA reports have been a critical tool in helping the DOT develop the tourism sector as a significant socio-economic activity, generate foreign exchange, employment, and information dissemination on the importance and benefit of the tourism sector for both private and public sectors,” DOT OIC-Secretary Edwin Enrile said in his opening remarks during a forum on Tuesday, June 28.

Figures from the PTSA report were presented during the forum.

“Armed with this data and information, the DOT can further improve and refine its current plans and programs, learn from its weaknesses, and pinpoint where our strengths and opportunities lie amidst the pandemic,” he added.

The DOT said Tourism Satellite Account “is a standard statistical framework and the main tool for the economic measurement of tourism, developed by the United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO), Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), among other statistical organizations, which allows the measurement of the contribution of tourism industries to Philippine economy.” — Iliana Padigos, INQUIRER.net intern

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