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Tourism sector seen to lose P156.9-B due to pandemic

The National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) has projected a loss of gross value added of P77.5 billion to P156.9 billion in the travel and tourism sector due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

In a report last March, the agency declared an equivalent of 0.4-0.8% Gross Domestic Product (GDP) projected loss for 2020 on the travel and tourism sector due to the travel restrictions and ban brought by the said pandemic.

International tourism contributed 1.5% to the country’s GDP as of 2018 according to the report. Korean tourists topped the number of arrivals in the country with 2 million arrivals or 24% of total foreign arrivals, followed by China with 1.8 million arrivals in 2019 thus accounting for 22% of total foreign arrivals.

As of 2018, tourists from South Korea spent P126.6 billion in tourism receipts in the country while the Chinese spent P110.8 billion.

In 2019, occupancy rates have reached 72% brought mainly by tourism, according to the Department of Tourism, and it is expected to decline this year.

Due to the imposed enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) in Luzon last March, travel restrictions in land, sea, and air were implemented thus halting the number of entry of tourists in the country.

The travel ban is expected to cause a significant blow to the travel and tourism sector due to loss of revenue.

Along with the economic decline in the travel and tourism sector, it is also projected that there would be a decline in employment by around 33,800 to 56,600.

As previously reported, the local tourism sector has been incurring loss in their businesses since last year due to the series of earthquakes and continues in the present during the pandemic.

The cancellation of visits have directly affected the hospitality industry and a “large chunk” was taken away from the tourism revenue, Benjamen Banzon Jr., the general manager of Royal Mandaya Hotel said.

Colliers International recommend a marketing effort to recapture foreign and local tourists once the pandemic subsides and to monitor developments related to the proposed financial package from the government.

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