MANILA, 25 March 2022: The Philippines tourism industry is monitoring the first signs of recovery as international visitors to the country pass the 100,000 mark in the month since borders reopened.
The Department of Tourism reports data from the One Health Pass (OHP), showed inbound visitor arrivals to the Philippines reached 102,031 as of 16 March. The country reopened its borders on 10 February, well ahead of most Southeast Asian countries.
Tourism Secretary Berna Romulo-Puyat commented: “We are happy to see the gradual reopening of our borders finally bearing fruit as evidenced by the much higher foreign visitor arrivals. This will help safeguard the industry’s revival, providing more jobs and livelihoods to Filipinos in the tourism sector”.
Tourists from the US remain the top contributor to tourist arrivals since its reopening of borders until 16 March with 22,243; followed by Canada with 4,852; the United Kingdom with 4,386; South Korea with 3,748; Australia with 3,387; Vietnam with 2,656; Germany with 1,976; and Japan with 1,752.
Last week, the DOT announced that the Philippines would open to fully vaccinated travellers from all countries, as well as the resumption of visa issuances by Philippine embassies starting 1 April to coincide with this development.
Along with the said move, it allowed the submission of negative laboratory-based antigen test results taken within 24 hours from departure as an alternate option for arriving passengers, in place of the initial requirement of a negative result of an RT-PCR test taken 48 hours prior to departure from the point of origin.
“Our numbers are still far from pre-pandemic levels, but we are optimistic that this will continue to increase amid the sustained decline in Covid-19 cases in the country as well as the ongoing efforts of the Philippine government to improve its healthcare capacity. On the DOT’s part, we shall continue working with the IATF, and our partners in the government and the private sector in coming up with measures that will sustain this growth,” Puyat noted.
(Source: The Philippines Department of Tourism)