THE wave of booking cancellations and mobility restrictions brought the tourism sector to its knees last year as it posted its worst performance on record, according to the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA).
Based on the Philippine Tourism Satellite Accounts (PTSA), the Tourism Direct Gross Value Added (TDGVA) contracted 61.2 percent in 2020, the steepest decline in the data series of the PSA.
The TDGVA reached P973.31 billion in 2020, significantly lower than the P2.51 trillion it recorded in 2019. The tourism sector contributed 5.4 percent to the country’s GDP in 2020, less than half its contribution of 12.8 percent in 2019.
“All forms of tourism expenditures posted downturns in 2020: inbound tourism expenditure declined by -77.9 percent, while domestic tourism expenditure by -82.3 percent, and outbound tourism expenditure by -73.2 percent. Internal tourism expenditure, comprising inbound and domestic tourism expenditure, decreased by -81.6 percent,” PSA said.
Internal tourism, which is the combination of inbound tourism and domestic tourism, only reached P689.48 billion in 2020, a steep decline from the P3.74 trillion recorded in 2019.
Around 80.8 percent of this came from domestic tourism.
PSA data showed that expenditures for accommodation services for visitors contracted the most at 85.7 percent, followed by entertainment and recreation services which plunged 85.4 percent.
The food and beverage services also declined 84.2 percent last year.
MEANWHILE, the PTSA also noted that the Gross Value Added of Tourism Industries (GVATI) also contracted. The GVATI, PSA said, is the sum of all gross value added from establishments considered a part of the tourism industry, regardless if they served tourists or not.
The GVATI contracted 72.1 percent in 2020. This was mainly due to the contraction recorded by accommodation services for visitors at 90.3 percent, followed by food and beverages services which contracted 87.5 percent.
Data also showed travel agencies and other reservation services, as well as shopping were also significantly affected as these recorded declines of 82.7 percent and 76.1 percent, respectively.
The PSA data also showed that inbound tourism expenditure, which referred to the expenditure of non-resident visitors (foreign visitors and Filipinos permanently residing abroad) within the Philippines, shared 2.9 percent to the country’s total exports in 2020.
Domestic tourism expenditure, which covers expenditures of resident visitors within the country either as domestic trip or part of an international trip, contributed 4.1 percent of the household final consumption expenditure.
The PSA also said employment in tourism characteristic industries was estimated at 4.68 million in 2020, an 18.1-percent decline from the 5.72 million in 2019. Share of employment in tourism industries to total employment in the country was recorded at 11.9 percent.
Last year, the National Economic and Development Authority (Neda) and the Department of Finance (DOF) shared the results of a survey they conducted to measure the impact of the pandemic, which included tourism.
In terms of income, the survey results showed the industry most affected by the ECQ was in the Arts, entertainment and recreation sector which saw sales decline by 82.3 percent.
It is estimated that 18,661 firms in the sector were closed due to the ECQ and only 1,874 firms were open during lockdown. It is expected that the firms in this sector will be closed for 9 months this year.
This was followed by tourism, which saw revenues plunge 81.9 percent, with 29,147 firms closed during the ECQ and only 2,686 firms opened during the lockdown. It is also expected that firms in this sector will remain closed for 9 months this year.
In terms of job losses in the top 10 hardest hit sectors, the construction and education sectors were the most affected with 689,974 and 130,514 jobs lost, respectively.
This was followed by the repair of motor vehicles and motorcycles, tourism, and finance and insurance activities which recorded 74,758, 51,446, and 41,027 jobs lost during ECQ, respectively.