Philippine tourism bodes well after border reopening hinh anh 1Boracay beach in the Philippines (Photo: AFP)

Hanoi (VNA) – The Philippines has welcomed more than 100,000 foreign visitors since the Southeast Asian country reopened its border in February.

As of mid-March, inbound visitor arrivals had reached 102,031, the highest level since the country closed its border due to the emergence of the COVID-19 pandemic in March 2020, Philippine Secretary of Tourism Bernadette Romulo-Puyat told media.

Foreign tourists will help recover tourism and the reopening of borders is hoped to create jobs and ensure income for workers in the sector, she said.

Under the new regulations, the country allowed fully-vaccinated foreign nationals from visa-free countries and regions to enter in February.

It will further ease COVID-19 restrictions this month, granting entry to all fully-vaccinated foreign nationals.

Statistics showed that tourists from the US topped arrivals, followed by Canada, the UK, the Republic of Korea and Australia.

As a key economic driver, the tourism industry's contribution to the Philippines' gross domestic product stood at 12.7 percent in 2019, according to the Philippine Statistics Authority.

The pandemic has badly hit the tourism sector, forcing hotels and airlines to lay off staff. Almost 1.1 million workers in the industry were affected.

Although the numbers are still far from pre-pandemic levels, they will continue to increase amid the sustained decline in COVID-19 cases in the Philippines as well as ongoing efforts of the government to improve its healthcare capacity, Puyat said./.