Philippines’ tourism sector posts revenue loss of over 8 billion USD hinh anh 1Taking samples for COVID-19 testing (Photo: VNA)
Hanoi (VNA) – The Philippines lost around 400 billion pesos (8.3 billion USD) in tourism revenue in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic, according to a tourism official.

Tourism Undersecretary officer-in-charge Roberto Alabado told a congressional hearing that only 1.3 million foreign tourists visited the Philippines in 2020, or more than 80 percent lower than the 8.3 million visitors to the Southeast Asian country in 2019.

The abrupt fall in tourist arrivals affected around 5.7 million jobs in the tourism sector, he added.

Alabado stressed the need to revive the tourism industry because of its contribution to the economy.

The tourism industry contributed 12.7 percent to the Philippine economy in 2019, the Philippines Statistics Authority (PSA) said.

The coronavirus epidemic forced the Philippines and many countries to impose lockdown measures to curb its spread by closing borders. Tourism activities ground to a halt affecting various enterprises and displacing workers.

The Philippine government is slowly easing domestic travel restrictions as it began reopening destinations for domestic travel with health and safety protocols in place./.