Bright prospects await Phl tourism

A 4.6 percent increase in tourism workers this year from 4.7 million in 2021 shows that the tourism industry is now capable of regaining its pre-pandemic figures.

To further bolster the existing 4,916,200 tourism workers, the Department of Tourism recently signed a memorandum of understanding with the Department of Labor and Employment to offer more than 1,500 jobs during the initial leg of the “Trabaho, Turismo, Asenso! Philippine Tourism Job Fair” on 22 to 24 September.

The MoU, which was signed between Tourism Secretary Christina Garcia Frasco and Labor Secretary Bienvenido Laguesma, seeks to formalize the partnership of both national agencies to provide an avenue for the creation of employment opportunities in the tourism sector and allied industries.

Of the total of 1,538 vacancies, 1,273 are full-time jobs from the 293 establishments surveyed by the DoT as of 30 August will be offered during the initial leg of the simultaneous jobs fair in three different cities across the country.

Based on the DoLE Online Establishment Reporting System, the Accommodation and Food Service Activities Industry recorded 12,717 local job displacements in 739 establishments from January to June 2022.

Promising pace recovery

Meanwhile, during deliberations at the House of Representatives on the proposed budget for the Department of Tourism for the year 2023, Frasco said the tourism industry is now recovering at a promising pace, as tourist arrivals reached 1,352, 904 as of 28 August, or since the government opened the country’s borders for international leisure travel last 10 February, compared to 163,879 in 2021.

“It is projected to reach 1.7 million by the end of the year. Businesses have resumed, people have returned to work, and Covid-9 is within our control,” Frasco said.

She cautioned though that there are still many things to be done to regrow and even exceed pre-pandemic numbers.

From a global perspective, Frasco said tourism experienced a 3.8 percent upturn in 2021, based on the report of the United Nations World Tourism Organization’s World Tourism Barometer, but far from the 2019’s $1.46 billion in 2019, vis a vis 415 million tourist arrivals in 2021.

The same report said the ASEAN region, which includes the Philippines, suffered the sharpest decline in visitor arrivals, ranging from 85 percent to as much as 97 percent in 2021.

“Thailand and Malaysia, our top market competitors, recorded a decline of 93 percent and 97 percent, respectively, while the Philippines registered a decline of 88.95 percent from 1.4 million arrivals in 2020 to just 163,000 arrivals in 2021, showing how the Covid-19 has severely impacted and affected the tourism industry,” the DoT chief told lawmakers.

The United States remains the country’s top tourism source market registering 257,508 arrivals, followed by Korea (165,000), Australia (59,000), Canada and the United Kingdom.

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