Phl recovery depends on travel & tourism

After its programs were held in abeyance for almost two years by the pandemic, the Department of Tourism (DoT) is strongly rebounding towards the new normal. 

The recent World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC)’s 2021 Economic Impact Report cited the country’s Travel and Tourism efforts that contributed to the nation’s economy by 129.5%, year on year, at a value of $41 billion. 

This followed an 80% drop in the tourism industry’s performance during the pandemic. The dramatic rebound placed the Philippines as the world’s fourth fastest-growing economy in 2021, two years after the pandemic. 

The Philippine travel and tourism sector’s growth was reported by Julia Simpson, WTTC president and CEO, which represents the global Travel and Tourism private sector during the recent Global Summit in Manila. 

WTTC’s Economic Impact Report (EIR) for the Phtilippines shows that in 2021, the sector supported 7.8 million jobs, representing a substantial 20.5% rise from 2020, compared with a global increase of 6.7%. 

Before the pandemic, the Philippines’ Travel and Tourism sector’s contribution to gross domestic product (GDP) was pegged at 22.5% of the total economy (worth $92.6 billion). Due to widespread travel restrictions, it plunged by 80.7% to a mere $17.8 billion, dropping to just a 4.8% share of the country’s GDP. 

In 2021, this increased to $41 billion, representing a 10.4% share of the nation’s total economy, indicating the sector’s stable recovery. 

The latest EIR also projects that the Philippines’ Travel and Tourism contribution to GDP will grow by 6.7% over the next decade, exceeding the expected country’s overall economy average growth rate of just 5.6%. 

“Our latest EIR for the Philippines signals the astonishing recovery of the country’s Travel and Tourism sector, resulting in a massive employment boost for the sector, leading to the recovery of 1.3 million more jobs compared to the previous year,” Simpson said. “Our expert analysis shows that the economy has turned a corner and is firmly on the road to recovery,” she added. 

WTTC forecasts that the Philippines Travel and Tourism contribution to GDP could be worth in excess of $155 billion in 2032, accounting for 21.4% of the economy. 

With travel and tourism employment forecast to grow annually by an average of 3% over the next 10 years, nearly three million new jobs could be created, or 21.5% of all jobs in the Philippines. 

Leaders of the global tourism industry also praised the Philippines’ successful hosting of the 21st Global Summit of the WTTC. 

“I’m not often stumped for words, but I am now. Wow! What an amazing summit. We really have rediscovered travel,” Simpson said. 

Gloria Guevara, a special advisor of Saudi Arabia’s Ministry of Tourism and former president and CEO of WTTC, said the Philippines “has exceeded all of our expectations. Thanks to the leadership of Secretary Bernadette Romulo-Puyat before and during the pandemic, the Philippines has been successfully repositioned as a top destination and she delivered an impactful Summit. The Filipino hospitality has also made it memorable.”

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