The Philippines Lost ₱400 Billion In Tourism Income In 2020
About ₱400 billion income was lost last year due to the decline in the number of foreign tourists in the country amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
Department of Tourism OIC Undersecretary Roberto Alabado III remarked that there were around 8.3 million foreign tourists visited the Philippines in 2019, which went down by 82% in 2020 with only 1.3 million tourists. The travel restrictions imposed by the country to curb the spread of COVID-19 has affected foreign tourist arrivals and 5.7 million jobs in the tourism industry nationwide.
According to Alabado III, this is a very big blow because the country approximately lost around ₱400 billion in income because of the missing foreign tourists. The tourism sector contributes about 12.7% of the country’s gross domestic product, Alabado said it is essential for the tourism industry to be revived to help the Philippine economy recover from the negative impact of the pandemic.
The DOT has come up with a tourism response and recovery plan to keep the tourism industry afloat amid the global health crisis which involves the following strategic framework:
- Secured livelihood and adequate social services
- Sustained business operations
- Appropriate infrastructure
- Enhanced marketing, market, and product development
- Timely and efficient institutional support
- Effective strategic communications
The DOT has also assisted tourists who were stranded in Regions 1, 2, and the Cordillera Administrative Region due to the lockdowns. They also extended assistance to tourism workers who were impacted by the decrease in tourist arrivals. In addition, they’ve put up tourism circuits in these regions so that travelers can visit many attractions in one trip, encouraging them to come and spend time in these areas.
Alabado also reported that minimum health and safety protocols are also being strictly implemented to ensure the safety of tourists and tourism workers.