In Philippines, tourist arrivals dropped by almost 73%!

 Wednesday, August 19, 2020

In Philippines, during the initial seven months of 2020, tourist arrivals dropped by almost 73%, giving the country 1.3 million visits, as per a report from the Philippines News Agency.


Tourism Undersecretary, Benito Bengzon explained that the performance declined from 4,852,107 foreign tourists recorded last year. Tourism revenue dropped 72% to PHP81 billion.


The huge slump in tourism kick-started from mid-March when restrictions related to travel was introduced to control COVID spread.


With almost zero international tourists visiting the country for five months, now, Philippines is depending on domestic tourism to stop earnings falling too low. PNA mentioned that the tourism undersecretary was optimistic that local travel has that ability to compensate as the country opens up more towards domestic tourism.


He asserted that 10.8% of the GDP of the country could be attributed to domestic tourism. On the basis of recent data from the Philippine Statistics Authority, domestic tourism expenditure in 2019 reached PHP3.1 trillion while earnings from international inbound tourism reached PHP548.8 billion.


To quote Bengzon, “We have a huge domestic tourism base. Last year, there were about 109 million domestic trips. And we’re very confident that as we open up destinations, it will be the local tourists who will create demand.”


Nevertheless, in the near future, overseas tourism is not going to return to the Philippines in spite of talks of potential tourism bubbles that has shown the possibility to tap travel from China. The country has closed international borders and the inbound tour operators are now facing a crisis.


Bengzon stated that tourism is anticipating receiving monetary help through a bill being pushed through Congress.


Financial aid worth PHP10 billion will be distributed to the tourism industry under the proposed ‘Bayanihan to Recover as One Act’ (Bayanihan 2). In the approved House version, nevertheless, the amount at first appropriated for working capital loans was realigned to infrastructure, a move decried by various tourism stakeholders.

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