THE number of passengers who arrived in the country from January to September of 2021 dropped by 72 percent due to the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on the international travel industry.

In a statement, BI Commissioner Jaime H. Morente noted that a total of 893,886 international travelers arrived during the first nine months of the year as compared to the 3.2 million recorded in 2020.

“This is a far cry from our pre-pandemic figures, wherein we reached 12.6 million arrivals already by the third quarter,” Morente said.

While the pandemic started in 2020, Morente noted that the BI still recorded a high arrival of passengers during that year since the government decided to close its borders only in March.

Morente said there were already 2.8 million arrivals recorded during the first quarter of 2020.

The BI chief said the agency is expecting the low turnout of arriving passengers would continue at least until the end of 2021.

“Statistics show that since January the volume of arrivals in our international ports has been averaging at only around 90,000 to 100,000 a month so we foresee this trend to persist until the end of this year,” he added.

The low figures, according to Morente, are due to the daily cap on passenger arrivals as well as the imposed travel restrictions.

On the other hand, the Bi recorded a 68-percent decrease in the number of passengers who left for abroad during the first three-quarters of the year.

From 3.6 million who left the country in 2020, the number fell to 1.1 million from January to September of 2021.

“The bulk of these travelers were overseas Filipino workers as well as foreigners who were returning to their home countries,” Morente said.

But Morente said the agency is optimistic that the international travel industry would bounce back as the country begins to relax travel restrictions following its aggressive vaccination drive against Covid-19.





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