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News > The Philippines

Tourism To Philippines Plunge Over 83 Percent in 2020

  • Citizens marking the Black Nazarene feast day participate in a mass from outside the Quiapo church, Manila, Philippines, Jan. 9, 2021.

    Citizens marking the Black Nazarene feast day participate in a mass from outside the Quiapo church, Manila, Philippines, Jan. 9, 2021. | Photo: EFE

Published 12 January 2021 (2 hours 42 minutes ago)
Opinion

Over the last year, 5 million out of 5.7 million local tourism workers either lost their jobs or their salaries slashed.

The number of foreign visitors that visited the Philippines fell 83.97 percent in 2020 due to travel restrictions imposed to contain the spread of COVID-19.

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The Department of Tourism (DOT) said 1,323,956 foreign visitors entered the country from January to December 2020, or 83.97 percent lower than the 8,260,913 recorded in the same period in 2019.

Total receipts generated from inbound tourism for 2020 registered an estimated US$1.69 billion, down 83.12 percent from about US$10 billion recorded in 2019.

Tourism Secretary Bernadette Romulo-Puyat commented that the impact of COVID-19 was unprecedented and spared no one.

"With the closure of borders to international tourist traffic and the imposition of quarantine measures, tourism activities ground to a halt affecting various enterprises and displacing workers," Puyat said.

The local tourism industry, which employed 5.7 million people in 2019, was hit hard by the pandemic, for nearly five million workers either lost their jobs or their salaries slashed.

Last year, however, brought enormous challenges to the Philippines. In January 2020, the Taal volcano, a famous tourist destination south of Manila, erupted and led to a decline in tourism.

Later, in March, the government to impose a lockdown that came at a hefty cost to the economy. The disruption of international and domestic travel crippled the tourism industry.

The Philippines, which remains under varying lockdown restrictions, now has 491,258 confirmed COVID-19 cases, including 9,554 deaths.

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