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Tourism receipts likely to suffer record contraction in 2020 —BSP

Tourism receipts are expected to be halved this year due to restrictions on travel brought about by the coronavirus pandemic, the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) reported Thursday.

In a mobile message, BSP Governor Benjamin Diokno said tourism receipts are expected to contract by 56.9% this year, which could be the worst drop since the government started data collection on tourism receipts.

"I guess (this is the worst) since we've been collecting data on tourism receipts because of the once-in-a-lifetime pandemic," he explained.

Prior to the coronavirus pandemic, the BSP in November expected tourism receipts to grow by 12.0% this year.

Metro Manila, along with several high-risk areas, was under the enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) from March 17 to May 15, followed by a modified enhanced community quarantine (MECQ) until May 31.

Even with the easing of restrictions under the general community quarantine (GCQ) currently in place, leisure activities are still not allowed.

"In any event, tourism receipts in the Philippines pales in comparison with other countries that are heavily dependent on tourism receipts, such as Thailand, Hong Kong, and some European countries," said Diokno.

For 2021, the BSP said tourism receipts are likely to grow by 15.0%. —LDF, GMA News