The Tourism Infrastructure and Enterprise Zone Authority (TIEZA) is seeing a drop of around P730 million in travel tax collections for 2021 amid restrictions imposed by the national government to combat the COVID-19 pandemic.
The figure is about 90 percent lower compared to the collections recorded in 2019.
“Based on TIEZA’s actual travel tax collections particularly for March to July, 2020, the collection for 2021 will be about Php 730,964,074 or a 90 percent drop compared to 2019,” the agency said in a Facebook post.
Based on a study published by the International Air Transport Association (IATA) in July, the overall air travel demand slumped by about 58.4 percent in the first half of 2020 compared to the same period last year.
The organization forecasted that it will take around five years or until 2024 for the pre-pandemic level of passenger demand for international travels to return.
Though there is a projected recovery within from 2021 to 2023, the return to normalcy in travel will only be seen in 2024.
TIEZA, however, said the projection will dramatically change if there will be significant improvement in the Philippines’ current situation such as the availability of a COVID-19 vaccine, the opening of airports, the lifting of quarantine measures as well as travel bans, and the opening of tourist destinations.
Currently, only foreign nationals, Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs), permanent visa holders, students enrolled abroad, and participants accepted in exchange visitor programs are allowed to exit the country.
Travel taxes are imposed by the Philippine government on individuals who are leaving the country.