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Tourism revenues halved in first four months of 2020 — DOT

Year-to-date revenues of the Philippine tourism industry have been halved due to travel restrictions to curb the spread of the coronavirus disease, the government reported Wednesday.

In a Senate hearing, Tourism Secretary Bernadette Romulo-Puyat said the tourism industry posted revenues of P79.8 billion in January to April, 55% lower than the P180.52 billion the comparable period in 2019.

Foreign tourist arrivals likewise fell to 1.3 million during the same four-month period, down by 54% from the 2.8 million in 2019.

"Enforcement of travel restrictions and quarantine measures across the globe in response to the COVID-19 pandemic has immediate negative effects not only on large-scale businesses but more so on tourism stakeholders from the MSMEs which comprise majority of the industry," she told lawmakers.

Metro Manila, along with several "high-risk areas," has been on lockdown since March 17. A modified enhanced community quarantine (MECQ) has been placed from May 15 to last until May 31.

"With both international and domestic travel restrictions in effect for entirety of April, there have been no visiting tourists and therefore no revenue for the industry for this month," said Puyat. — RSJ, GMA News