It’s no secret that Philippine tourism took a hit due to the pandemic. However, with the recent easing of restrictions, it seems that now is the perfect time for recovery. The lockdowns may have stalled its growth, but the future still looks bright for the industry.
The share of tourism to our Gross Domestic Product (GDP) has been on the rise in recent years. It reached its peak in 2019 as it hit 12.7%. But along come 2020 and the quarantine restrictions. The contribution fell to a staggering 5.4% of GDP, and everything looked bleak as everything shut down.
However, did you know that despite this, the Philippines still remains one of the top destinations in the world?
Our Beaches Continue to Reap Awards
Even if travel restrictions prevented people from visiting, the world still recognized how amazing our beaches are. The Philippines was awarded Asia’s Leading Beach Destination for two years in a row by the prestigious World Travel Awards in 2021.
In the nine years of the category’s existence, the Philippines has won this award a total of five (5) times.
Despite the pandemic, 2020 and 2021 are still amazing years for Philippine Tourism. In fact, in 2021, the Philippines is nominated in 4 additional categories in the World Travel Awards. This includes the World’s Leading Dive Destination, Island Destination, Tourist Attraction, and Tourist Board.
This comes at the heels of the 2020 awards, where the Philippines topped five categories.
Our Borders are Opening Up to International Tourists
As we enter 2022, Philippine Tourism is poised to come back stronger than ever. The Department of Tourism (DOT) recently announced that the Philippines is looking to open its borders to fully vaccinated tourists. These tourists must come from “green list” countries. They also must have received vaccines recognized by the Philippine Food and Drug Administration (FDA) or authorized by the World Health Organization (WHO).
“Allowing tourists from green countries or territories that have the majority of its population vaccinated and with low infection rate, will greatly help in our recovery efforts — increasing tourist arrivals and receipts among others,” said DOT Secretary Berna Romulo-Puyat.
“This move will likewise aid in bolstering consumer confidence, which is a large contributor to our gross domestic product or GDP growth.”
Popular Spots and Hidden Gems
Meanwhile, as the world continues to open up, so are our world-class tourist destinations. People are taking note, as shown by a recent poll from diversified professional services and investment management firm Colliers.
They asked Filipinos which local destination they would like to visit once travel restrictions are lifted. 43% picked Palawan, and 36% picked Boracay. This shows that the popularity of these places remain unchanged despite more than a year of lockdown.
Other tourist spots have not been slacking off. A new popular destination is the coastal town of San Vicente, also in Palawan. The beach is known not only for having a white sand beach that is three times longer than Boracay, but for other spots and activities as well.
All of this shows that Philippine Tourism is going to come back strong. It may have been a tough few years since the start of the pandemic. But the undeniable wealth of our natural resources and the beauty of our country continues to shine bright!