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Philippines tourism recovers

Over 200,000 foreign tourists logged

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The Department of Tourism of the Philippines announced that the country has recorded the arrival of over 200,000 foreign tourists as of April 7, 2022.

Tourism Secretary Bernadette Romulo-Puyat welcomed this development, nearly two months since the country eased travel restrictions to international travellers.

“The sustained influx of tourists in the Philippines is a good measure of the industry’s success in its preparations to welcome foreign tourists in the new normal. Our high vaccination rate among tourism workers and reportedly low cases around the country have helped restore the confidence of travellers to visit the Philippines during the summer season,” Puyat said.

“This continued growth shall aid our stakeholders, as well as the economy, in recovering from the effects caused by the pandemic,” she added.

According to the data generated from One Health Pass, tourists from the United States of America (USA) remain the top contributor to the total foreign tourist arrivals to the Philippines with 43,744 visitors; followed by Canada with 9,618; the United Kingdom with 9,315; South Korea with 8,440 and Australia with 8,212 tourists.

The DOT chief said the Philippines “still has one of the simplest and most relaxed travel restrictions.” This was after the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases’ (IATF-EID) approved a resolution allowing the use of rapid antigen tests as entry requirements for travellers; on the condition that this should be administered and certified by a healthcare professional in a healthcare facility, laboratory, clinic, pharmacy, or other similar establishments for purposes of entry, testing, and quarantine protocols.

Puyat also attributed the increase in tourist arrivals to the IATF-EID’s decision to expand the list of accepted and recognized national COVID-19 vaccination certificates, which now includes Bangladesh, Mexico, Pakistan, and the Slovak Republic.

On April 1, the Philippines also started accepting fully vaccinated tourists from all countries. These visitors may be allowed entry without the need to provide an Entry Exemption Document – provided that they comply with applicable visa and immigration laws, rules, and regulations.

For the past two months, Korea has been the fourth highest contributor to tourist arrivals. However, before the COVID-19 pandemic, it was the top source market with 1.98 million arrivals in 2018.

Japan is also one of the largest contributors and was considered the fourth-biggest tourism source market prior to the COVID-19 pandemic. The country recorded 682,788 tourists from Japan in 2019.

Philippines Covid-19 entry requirements

  • Take an RT-PCR test 48 hours before flight or an antigen test a day before the flight;
  • Fill in the e-Health Declaration Card on the OneHealthPass website;
  • Purchase insurance that covers COVID-19, has a coverage amount of $35,000 or more and lasts the entirety of the trip; and
  • Ensure the vaccination documents are valid and accepted by the Philippines.

Sources: Rosel Adel of Philstar.com and the Dept. of Tourism