The hard-hit tourism industry in the Philippines is seeing the road to recovery more clearly now, following the recent reopening of the country’s borders last week.
“International travel and tourism saw an unprecedented decline in visitor arrivals amid the pandemic; the reopening of Philippines’ borders to visitors from visa-free countries will surely help in improving our numbers,” Tourism Secretary Berna Romulo-Puyat said.
The Department of Tourism (DOT) is optimistic that tourist arrivals will further increase in the coming days, eventually, this will aid in the coveted recovery of the local tourism scene.
As of 14 February 2022, the inbound tourist arrivals from visa-free countries aggregated to 9,283. DOT data also showed that of this number, 4,209 are balikbayans while 5,074 are foreign tourists.
Most of the international tourist arrivals are from the United States of America (USA) during the four-day period with 2,227 arrivals; this is followed by 661 from Canada; 404 from Australia; 344 from the United Kingdom; 189 from South Korea, 169 from Japan; and 168 from Germany.
Puyat also emphasized the country’s readiness for the influx of foreign travelers, noting that more than 90% of its target tourism workers nationwide are fully-vaccinated.
“The DOT’s goal has since shifted to providing fully vaccinated workers with booster shots, which will not only give them extra protection against the virus but will also add to the confidence of local and foreign tourists as they make their way to the country’s many breathtaking destinations,” the tourism chief encouraged.
As of 11 February 2021, a total of 323,206 individuals or 93.09% of the DOT’s nationwide target of 353,075 tourism workers in various tourism-related industries are already fully inoculated against COVID-19. 57,347 or 17.74% have already received their booster COVID-19 shots.
The DOT also reminded fully vaccinated tourists to present proof of vaccination as approved by the Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF) or the World Health Organization (WHO) and a negative RT-PCR test result taken within 48 hours before departure country of origin.
“We at the DOT are excited to see a revival in our local tourism and will continue to support our partners in achieving this goal,” Puyat said.