The tourism industry contributes significantly to the Philippine gross domestic product (GDP) or the monetary measure of the market value of all the final goods and services produced in a specific time period. In 2018, the industry’s contribution to the GDP was noted at 12.2% or a gross value added amount of P2.2 trillion, and contributed around 5.4 million jobs.
Unfortunately, the Coronavirus disease (Covid-19) has placed the industry into a coma and may continue to be under that state even after a vaccine is found. Here are the reasons why.
- Economic contraction and eventual recession. With the economy on a nosedive, tourists may have to prioritize where to put their money. The lockdown stopped business operations and most lost their jobs. Almost all small and micro-enterprises also went bankrupt. Thus, spending will definitely be focused on basic necessities.
- Difficulty to travel due to the lack of vaccine. Travelling may become a hassle as tourists may need to secure the necessary travel permits, entry and exit passes, and possibly medical certificates.
- Social distancing and the new normal. Strict implementation of the guidelines on social distancing and the new norms under Covid may be strictly enforced. This will be a challenge to tourists who prefer to go to crowded places and meet people.
- Costly tourism packages due to social distancing and hygiene-related regulations. After the lockdown, crowd control will be strictly enforced and this will affect the transportation and hotel industry. Transport vehicles from land to air will not anymore be filled and therefore, prices will increase. The same with restaurants and even hotels. Worse, additional investments will be given to disinfectants and labor for disinfecting the business establishments.