The Philippine Department of Tourism (DOT) has reported more than 100,000 foreign tourist arrivals since the country reopened on February 10, with the US leading the tourism rebound.
Data generated from the One Health Pass (OHP) showed inbound visitor arrivals to the Philippines have reached 102,031 as of March 16 – a new high for the country since her closure of borders at the onset of the pandemic in 2020.
Tourism secretary Berna Romulo-Puyat said: “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.”
The US remain the top contributor to arrivals to the Philippines with 22,243 tourists; followed by Canada with 4,852; the UK 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.
Various measures imposed by the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases, such as the suspension of the country classification system and relaxed entry protocols for fully-vaccinated leisure travellers from visa-free countries have helped to facilitate the influx of tourists.
The DOT also recently announced further easing of entry for all foreign tourists from April 1.
“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.