Number of tourism companies grows 5.5% in 2014-2020 period

THE number of companies registered as tourism establishments grew 5.5% in the six years to 2020, driven by optimism about the industry’s growth before the pandemic set in, the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) said.

Citing preliminary data on Wednesday, the PSA said the 2020 Survey of Tourism of Establishments in the Philippines (STEP) tallied 40,815 tourism establishments in 2020, up from 38,699 in 2014.

Some 60.2% were food and beverage businesses, followed by education, health and personal service activities (18.6%) and accommodation for visitors (10%).

Other sub-industries with tourism components were include sports and recreational businesses (4.1%); retail businesses carrying goods for purchase by tourists (3.4%); and others (3.7%).

“The increase in tourism establishments was due to the optimism in the growth of tourism from record-breaking 2019 levels,” Asian Institute of Management economist John Paolo R. Rivera said in a Viber message.

“While most, if not all, these establishments were not able to serve theirs intended purpose during the pandemic, they can always be repurposed,” he added.

“Because tourism is reliant on movement and close social interaction, the pandemic has hit it badly prompting tourism activities to hit rock bottom resulting in a lower economic contribution,” Mr. Rivera said.

Total revenue generated from tourists in 2020 amounted to P360.96 billion, down 26.2% compared with 2014.

Food and beverage serving activities generated revenue of P188.45 billion; air passenger transport P58.87 billion; and accommodation for visitors P40.45 billion.

In a separate PSA report, tourism’s direct gross value added was equivalent to 5.1% of gross domestic product in 2020, significantly lower than the 12.9% reported in 2019.

Tourism-related value created by industries dropped 63.4% to P917.20 billion at current prices in 2020.

Total employment in the tourism industry was 672,947 in 2020, led by food and beverages with 275,715, equivalent to 41% of the industry total.

Education, health and personal service activities accounted for 31.9% or 214,675, and accommodation for visitors 12.4% or 83,457.

The 2020 STEP is the third survey conducted on tourism establishments in the Philippines, in connection with the 2020 Annual Survey of Philippine Business and Industry to provide information on the availability of tourism goods, products, and services, the PSA said. — Bernadette Therese M. Gadon