Tourism push: Philippines as 'safe, fun, competitive destination' amid COVID

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jun 17 2021 09:36 AM

MANILA - The Department of Tourism on Thursday said it is pushing to position the Philippines as a "safe, fun, and competitive destination" despite the COVID-19 pandemic.

The DOT noted that the 61.2 percent drop of tourism contribution to the Philippines' gross domestic product shows that the pandemic has held back the industry that contributed P2.51 trillion to the economy in 2019. 

"More than the losses in tourism arrivals and revenue, these numbers translate to millions of tourism workers severely affected by the pandemic," the DOT said in a statement.

"This compels the DOT to explore all means possible, within the imposed government restrictions, to facilitate the gradual recovery of the tourism industry," it said.

The Tourism Direct Gross Value Added (TDGVA) dropped to P973.31 billion last year, according to data from the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA).

This is only 5.4 percent of the industry’s contribution to the country’s GDP, less than half of the 12.8 percent in 2019, the agency said.

The DOT said it would rebuild tourism "confidence and grow demand in the domestic and foreign market" in the next 2 years to help the industry recover.

"This will be achieved by developing and marketing portfolio of products that harness the natural and cultural endowments to benefit the present and future tourism generation," the DOT said.

"The DOT is optimistic that this transient situation will soon be over and that with the collective effort of the private and public sectors, the Philippine tourism industry will emerge bigger, better, and more resilient in the New Normal," it said.

The DOT has been working to provide perks to encourage local travelers to visit different tourism sites in the country.

The agency has been subsidizing RT-PCR tests for tourists headed to destinations requiring travelers to present a negative COVID-19 test upon arrival.

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