The Philippines lost 400 billion pesos in income in 2020 after foreign tourist arrivals plunged due to COVID-19, the Department of Tourism reported.
During the House committee hearing on the status of the tourism sector, DOT OIC-Undersecretary Roberto Alabado said the country only had 1.3 million foreign tourism arrivals last year, way lower than the 8.3 million foreign visitors in 2019.
Alabado added the decline in foreign arrivals affected 5.7 million jobs in the country.
To help revive the tourism sector, he said the DOT is focusing on domestic tourism.
Alabado said, “If we compare the income in 2019 earned from the domestic market, we are counting on a 3 trillion-peso market.”
Tourism Secretary Bernadette Romulo-Puyat earlier said that with the improvement of community quarantine levels in parts of the country, efforts will be intensified to help revive tourism activities and restore job and livelihood opportunities.