Philippine tourism to lose P23 billion a month due to COVID-19

The tourism industry alone could lose Php22.7 billion in revenues per month amid the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) outbreak, with Philippines also seen to be among the most vulnerable countries that might suffer from disruptions in global supply chains after some factories in China halted operations.

This as the Department of Health (DoH) on Wednesday reported that the number of patients under investigation for the new coronavirus from China rose to 408.

“Applying ’yung multiplier effect of tourism, we expect that per month, kasama na rin ’yung domestic airline receipts, we think it’s (foregone revenue) in the order of about Php22.7 billion per month,” National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) Undersecretary, Rosemarie Edillon said in a hearing at the House of Representatives on Wednesday.

Tourism Secretary Bernadette Romulo-Puyat said their estimates showed the tourism sector could lose a total of Php42.9 billion from February until April – Php16.8 billion this month, another Php14.11 billion for March and Php11.98 billion for April – as citizens are expected to cancel scheduled flights and postpone events, among others, amid the virus scare.

For airlines, Roberto Lim, executive director and vice-chairman of the Air Carriers Association of the Philippines, Inc. (ACAP) said they are expecting to lose around Php3 billion from ticket refunds in the next two months following the China travel ban.

NEDA added that if the outbreak persists up to six months, affected industries, including tourism-related businesses, could also lay off some workers.