Over 200,000 tourists arrive in February as PH reopens
Over 200,000 international arrivals were recorded since the country opened its borders for fully vaccinated foreigners last month, the Bureau of Immigration reported.
In a statement, Commissioner Jaime Morente said 211,899 passengers arrived last month.
“This is also more than 130 percent higher than the 91,000 passenger arrivals in February of 2021,” he said.
An increase in tourist arrival was also recorded in January with 150,740 compared to the previous year with only 95,592.
Morente expressed hope the travel industry will now gradually recover from the impact of the coronavirus pandemic.
“After almost two years of battling the effects of travel bans and border closures, it is a breath of fresh air to see families and binational couples reunite once again. I am positive that with our continued adherence to health protocols, we are slowly on the road to recovery,” he said.
Meanwhile, BI port Operations Chief Carlos Capulong said of the over 200,000 passengers who arrived in the country in February, 154,661 were Filipinos.
“(Around) 72 percent of those who arrived last February were returning Filipinos. This is followed by Americans with 21,383 arrivals, Canadians with 4,026, and British with 3,250,” he said.
The BI official assured the public that they are ready for the continued increase of passengers in the airports.
“The foresight on international travel is getting better. We have deployed enough officers and improved our e-gate services at our international ports to guarantee efficiency at the BI stations,” Capulong said.
BI spokesperson Dana Sandoval also reported that a total of 55 tourists were excluded for non-compliance with Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-EID) requirements from Feb. 10 to 28.
“We have seen a significant rise in the number of passengers since we opened our borders for fully vaccinated foreign nationals this February, as compared to the low figures in 2021. While we are not yet seeing pre-pandemic figures, we are confident that this steady increase is the start of the recovery of the country’s international travel and tourism industries,” she added. – PNA