With the changes brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic, the Department of Tourism (DOT) is holding a cluster consultation with tourism stakeholders in line with the reformulation of the National Tourism Development Plan (NTDP) 2016-2022.
The said activity aims to review and update the NTDP 2016-2022 targets and strategies for the remaining period 2021 to 2022 to guide the development of tourism in the new normal.
The DOT said this will also rationalize and integrate initiated policies, plans, and programs to restart tourism; develop scenarios that will steer the industry towards the new normal; and focus on domestic tourism and recalibrate tourism products.
The NTDP 2016-22 acts as the blueprint of the national government’s tourism goals seeking to build and upscale the implementation of tourism programs through a focused and prioritized approach designed to deliver a more competitive, sustainable and inclusive tourism sector.
This year, the tourism department was supposedly aiming for 9.2 million foreign visitor arrivals, then 10.4 million in 2021, and 12 million in 2022. The figures in inbound revenue were also projected at P661 billion this year, P776 billion in 2021, and P922 billion in 2022.
But travel restrictions continue to affect the country’s inbound tourism up to the last few months of the year.
In a recent report released by the department, 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.
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.
Thousands of direct and indirect tourism employees have also been laid off as a result of the pandemic in contrast to the NTDP projection of generating about 6 million jobs this year, 6.3 million in 2021, and 6.5 million in 2022.
Tourism Secrtary Bernadette Romulo-Puyat said she is optimistic that the industry will soon recover from the wrath of the COVID-19 crisis, focusing first on the revival of the country’s domestic tourism industry as the driver of the recovery.
In July, Puyat created a task force that would focus on the development and marketing of domestic tourism products headed by Intramuros Administration Administrator Atty. Guiller Asido.