Last year, the tourist sector contributed 61.2 percent less to the Philippine economy, according to the Department of Tourism (DOT).
The Tourism Direct Gross Value Added (TDGVA) fell to P973.31 billion last year from P2.51 trillion in 2019, according to the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA).
This represents just 5.4 percent of the industry’s contribution to the country’s GDP, a significant decrease from the 12.8 percent in 2019.
Although the numbers are a setback in an industry that was thriving before to the Covid-19 epidemic, they represent the enormous struggle that the DOT and the whole tourist sector confront today.
The tremendous harm caused by the worldwide pandemic epidemic is both unexpected and inevitable for an industry that relies heavily on people’s mobility and face-to-face contact. However, these figures represent millions of tourist employees who have been badly impacted by the epidemic, in addition to the loss of tourism arrivals and income.
This forces the DOT to look at all options for assisting the tourist industry’s slow revival, given the constraints set by the government.
The Tourism Response and Recovery Plan, developed by the DOT, identifies methods to overcome this transitory predicament. The DOT will adopt three measures in the face of the epidemic. These are the following:
- Protect employment and ensure the safety of tourism employees, tourists, and communities.
- Assist in the rehabilitation of tourist businesses; and
- Restore consumer confidence and increase demand in both the local and international markets.
The Department’s many efforts to facilitate the slow but sure recovery of the tourism industry include a shift toward domestic tourism that resulted in the gradual reopening of various local sites, lobbying for the protection of tourism workers through inoculation, and marketing of destinations highlighting the safe travel campaign.
The Philippines will be positioned as a “safe, entertaining, and competitive destination” over the next two years, based on solid relationships with communities and tourists. This will be accomplished by creating and promoting a portfolio of goods that take use of the natural and cultural resources available to benefit current and future tourist generations.
The DOT is confident that this temporary crisis will pass quickly, and that the Philippine tourist industry will emerge larger, better, and more resilient in the New Normal as a result of the combined efforts of the private and governmental sectors.