MANILA, July 20 (Mabuhay) — Accurate data can help the tourism industry recover from the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) pandemic, as the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) reported a big decline in receipts last year.

The PSA’s 2020 Philippine Tourism Satellite Accounts (PTSA) reported that inbound tourism (non-resident visitors) earned PHP132.59 billion in 2020, lower by 77.9 percent compared to the previous year’s PHP600.08 billion.

“The inbound tourism expenditure went down in 2020 from its 34.7 percent increase in 2019,” the report read.

The PTSA report noted that all industries in the inbound tourism sector suffered a decline in 2020, with the “miscellaneous” industry recording the largest decline at minus 80.5 percent, followed by travel agencies and other reservation services (minus 80.4 percent), and entertainment and recreation services and accommodation services for visitors (minus 80.2 percent).

Through the PTSA report, the Department of Tourism (DOT) will have a more accurate picture of the state of the travel and tourism industry to help improve and refine its current plans and programs.

“Enabled by accurate data, we can create better solutions to help us recover from the current health crisis, encourage safe and responsible travel, and bring back jobs and livelihoods to more Filipinos,” DOT Secretary Bernadette Puyat said during the 2020 Philippine Tourism Satellite Accounts and Tourism Statistics Online Dissemination Forum on Monday.

Domestic tourism expenditure managed just PHP556.89 billion in 2020, an 82.3 percent drop from 2019’s PHP3.14 trillion.

The entertainment and recreation services category recorded the largest decline at minus 87.4 percent, followed by accommodation services (minus 86.9 percent), and food and beverage serving services (minus 86.7 percent).

The country’s internal tourism expenditure in 2020, or the combined inbound and domestic tourism, reached PHP689.48 billion in 2020, way below the 81 percent increase in 2019 that amounted to PHP3.74 trillion.

There were also 4.68 million persons employed in tourism industries in 2020, or a decline of 18.1 percent compared to the 5.72 million the previous year.

The tourism industry contributed 11.9 percent to the country’s total employment.

Meanwhile, the tourism collective consumption, or the government’s expenditure in support and control of tourism, reached PHP81.65 billion in 2020, higher by 9 percent as against 2019’s PHP74.93 billion.

The majority of the tourism collective consumption was for administrative services of the government (45.7 percent), followed by services to the community as a whole (27.1 percent), and non-specialized store retail trade services at 22.3 percent.

Puyat said 2020 was a very challenging year for the travel and tourism industry, not only in the Philippines but all over the world.

“According to the United Nations World Tourism Organization, 74 percent of international tourist arrivals and 1.3 trillion US dollars of international tourism receipts were lost due to the Covid-19 pandemic,” Puyat said, adding that the pandemic brought an 82 percent decline in visitor arrivals and an 83 percent decline in visitor receipts. (MNS)

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