Domestic tourism in PH increased in 2021 – DOT

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, June 29) – Domestic tourism in the Philippines experienced an increase in 2021 as the industry continues to recover from the COVID-19 pandemic.

According to the 2021 Philippine Tourism Satellite Accounts report released on Tuesday, 37,279,282 domestic travels were recorded last year. The tally is a 38.16% growth from the 26,982,233 domestic trips logged in 2020, the year when the COVID-19 pandemic ravaged the country.

However, the 2021 domestic travels figures are still lower than the pre-pandemic numbers. The Department of Tourism (DOT) tallied about 122 million domestic trips in 2019.

The top local destinations for domestic tourists in 2021 are the National Capital Region with over 1.97 million trips, Calabarzon with around 1.95 million travels, and Central Luzon with about 1.90 million visits.

Metro Manila also saw its average hotel occupancy rate soar at 60.97% in the previous year.

As the number of domestic tourists surged last year, the number of workers in the tourism industry also had an uptick with 4.9 million persons employed in 2021.

The tourism sector also contributed 11.1% to the country’s total employment last year.

“The DOT attributes the resurgence of domestic tourism to the collaborative efforts of the national and local government units to standardize health and safety protocols, reinforced by the active participation of tourism stakeholders from the private sector,” said DOT Branding and Marketing Communications Assistant Secretary Howard Lance Uyking.

Meanwhile, foreign visitor arrivals in the country are still below the usual figures due to the strict border restrictions amid the pandemic.

The DOT recorded a total of 163,879 foreign visitors in 2021, down by 88.95% from 2020 arrivals of 1,482,535.

In 2021, most of the foreign visitors in the country were from the United States of America with 39,326 followed by Japan (15,024), China (9,674), India (7,202), and Canada (6,781).