Travel bans continue to affect the country’s inbound tourism up to the last few months of the year as numbers plunged by around 80 percent, translating to losses of about P317 billion compared to the same period last year.
In a recent report released by the Department of Tourism (DOT), the Philippines received a total of 1,318,719 foreign visitors from January to October 2020, a decline of 80.61 percent from the 6,800,052 arrivals in the same period in 2019.
These figures translate to a decrease of 79.68 percent or losses of about P317.88 billion. This, as the corresponding visitor receipts from inbound tourism from January to October this year only recorded an estimated P81.05 billion, compared to the P389.93 billion recorded in the same period last year.
In January, foreign visitor volume rechead 787,307 or an increase of 8.84 percent compared to arrivals from last year. Visitor receipts also increased by 9.10 percent amounting to P47.2 billion.
But the Tourism department reported that arrivals started to slow down in February with only 418,126 visitors recorded, which was a drop of about 45.48 percent. Inbound tourist receipts from that month amounted to only P27.12 billion.
To recall, the Health department reported the country’s first confirmed COVID-19 case, a 38-year-old female Chinese national, on Jan 30.
Tourist traffic further plunged in March, also the same period when the Philippines reported its first confirmed local transmission of the deadly novel coronavirus disease.
Tourist arrivals in the said month were recorded at 113,286, a decrease of 84.14 percent due to air travel restrictions. Visitor receipts only generated P6.91 billion, equivalent to an 83.60 percent drop.
“There are no arrivals in April to October due to the ban on inbound international tourist travel,” the DOT pointed out. No tourist spending was recorded in the said period.
The national government recently lifted the ban on outbound travel. But international tourists, especially leisure travelers, who wish to visit the Philippines will have to wait a little longer until the ban on inbound travel is lifted, even as the country’s major tourism destinations gradually reopen.