According to the Bureau of Immigration (BI), due to the Covid-19 pandemic, passenger arrivals from January to September 2021 decreased by 72% compared to last year, 2020.
There were a total of 3.2 million passenger arrivals during the first three quarters of 2020; however, those numbers dropped to only 893,886 international travelers now.
“The figures during this pandemic were a far cry from our pre-pandemic figures wherein we reached 12.6 million arrivals by the third quarter of the year,” BI Commissioner Jaime Morente said.
He explained that even though the pandemic started in 2020, the Philippines closed its borders in late March, and there were only 2.8 million arrivals recorded at the beginning of the year.
“Statistics show that since January the volume of arrivals in our international ports has averaged at only 90,000 to 100,000 a month, and we foresee this trend to persist until the end of this year,” he added.
Morente also said that the low figures were due to travel restrictions.
He noted, only a total of 1.1 million outbound passengers left the country during the first three quarters of this year, compared to the same period last year, where 3.6 million departed.
“The bulk of these travelers were overseas Filipino workers as well as foreigners who were returning to their home countries,” he said.
But, in spite of the dire figures, Morente is optimistic that the travel sector will soon recover since the Philippines have already begun easing travel restrictions following the government’s commitment to vaccinating the population against the Covid-19.