Challenges and Opportunities in Philippine Tourism amid the COVID-19 Pandemic




tourism, tourism industry, challenges and opportunities, COVID-19, Philippines


This exploratory study aims to discuss the multifaceted challenges and opportunities of the Philippine tourism industry during the COVID-19 pandemic. These challenges and opportunities are organized by following the elements of anti-pandemic strategies in the COVID-19 Management Framework. Some pressing challenges are the decline in tourism demand, layoff of workers, demand for online/digital transactions, avoidance of tourists to occupy hotel rooms used as quarantine facilities, and compliance of disaster management and control preparedness protocols. However, tourism industry can thrive through ample opportunities like exploring local tourism, training employees on digital services and on safety protocols, rebuilding company brand, improving business facilities, adapting to modern technology, and collaborating with consultants on disaster and risk management. These challenges and opportunities provide the bases for suggestions and recommendations
to improve policies for future pandemic planning to cushion any potential impact on the tourism industry.


Ackehurst, M., & Loveder, P. (2015). Building the
capabilities of the travel, tourism and hospitality
workforce. National Centre for Vocational
Research. Retrieved November 17, 2020, from

Alonso, A. D., Kok, S. K., Bressan, A., O'Shea, M.,
Sakellarios, N., Koresis, A., Solis, M. A. B., &
Santoni, L.J. (2020). COVID-19, aftermath,
impacts, and hospitality firms: An international
perspective. International Journal of
Hospitality Management, 91, 102654.

Aquino, J. A., Banal, J. T., Pablo, F. B., IV, David, J.
D., & Sarmiento, P. J. D. (2021). From leisure
to isolation: A call to explore hotel sectors’
role during COVID-19 pandemic. Journal of
Public Health, 43(3), e553–e554.

Asian Development Bank. (2020). Supporting the
Philippines' tourism recovery in the new normal
through digital solutions. Retrieved November
18, 2020, from

Baratti, L. (2020). How technology will reshape
the hotel industry post-covid-19 pandemic.
Retrieved November 17, 2020, from

Bigtas, J. (2020, October 7). How domestic tourism
is gradually reopening in PHL: QR codes,
negative RT-PCR results, and more. GMA News

Burgos, N. P. (2021, July 6). Boracay sees spike in
tourism numbers. Philippine Daily Inquirer.

China Hospitality Association. (2020). The Impact
of COVID-19 on China's lodging industry.
Retrieved November 19, 2020 from

Cordero, T. (2021, January 12). Foreign tourist
arrivals in Philippines plunge 83.7% in 2020
amid COVID-19 pandemic. GMA News Online.

Corporate Social Responsibility Act, 15th Congress,
1st Regular Session (2011). Retrieved
November 17, 2020, from https://legacy.!.pdf

Cruz, R. (2014). Tourism planning and development.
Rex Book Store.

Deloitte Access Economics & Ministerial Industry
Commission. (2014). Annual skills priority
report, Ministerial Industry Commission.

Department of Tourism. (n.d.). National tourism
development plan 2016-2022. Retrieved
November 20, 2020, from https://

Domingo, R. W. (2019, October 6). Farm tourism
growing in PH. Philippine Daily Inquirer.
Retrieved November 17, 2020, from

Fabro, K. (2020, April 30). No tourism income,
but this Philippine community still guards
its environment. Mongabay.

Garcia, M. A. (2020, July 6). DOT looks to reopen El
Nido, Coron, San Vicente for domestic tourism.
GMA News Online. https://www.gmanetwork.

Grajo, B., Navarette, P., & Tilo, D. (2018, June 27).
Philippines as a medical tourism haven.
Manila Standard. Retrieved November 17,
2020, from

Hao, F., Xiao, Q., & Chon, K. (2020). COVID-19
and China's hotel industry: Impacts, a
disaster management framework, and postpandemic
agenda. International Journal of
Hospitality Management, 90, 102636.

Hartman, S. (2016). Towards adaptive tourism
areas? A complexity perspective to examine
the conditions for adaptive capacity. Journal
of Sustainable Tourism, 24(2), 299-314.

Hartman, S. (2020). Adaptive tourism areas in
times of change. Annals of Tourism Research, 102987.

Hong, Y., Cai, G., Mo, Z., Gao, W., Xu, L., Jiang, Y., &
Jiang, J. (2020). The impact of covid-19 on
tourist satisfaction with B&B in Zhejiang,
China: An importance–performance analysis.
International Journal of Environmental
Research and Public Health, 17(10), 3747.

Hu, X., Yan, H., Casey, T., & Wu, C.H. (2020).
Creating a safe haven during the crisis: How
organizations can achieve deep compliance
with COVID-19 safety measures in the
hospitality industry. International Journal of
Hospitality Management, 92, 102662.

Huang, A., Makridis, C., Baker, M., Medeiros, M., &
Guo, Z. (2020). Understanding the impact
of COVID-19 intervention policies on the
hospitality labor market. International Journal
of Hospitality Management, 91, 102660.

Karabulut, G., Bilgin, M. H., Demir, E., & Doker,
A. C. (2020). How pandemics affect
tourism: International evidence. Annals of
Tourism Research, 84, 102991.

Kock, F., Nørfelt, A., Josiassen, A., Assaf, A. G.,
& Tsionas, M. (2020). Understanding the
COVID-19 tourist psyche: The evolutionary tourism
paradigm. Annals of Tourism Research,85, 103053.

Kumar, S., & Nafi, S. M. (2020). Impact of COVID-19
pandemic on tourism: Recovery proposal
for future tourism. GeoJournal of Tourism
and Geosites, Year XIIII. 33, 1486-1492.

Levantesi, S., & Piscopo, G. (2021). COVID-19
crisis and resilience: Challenges for the
insurance sector. Advances in Management
& Applied Economics, 11(3), 1-12.

Llanes, J. (2021, March 16). Baguio City tourism loses
P7B in 2020. Sunstar. https://www.sunstar.

Lucas, D. (2021, February 4). Digital payments
surged by over 5,000 percent amid pandemic,
says BSP chair. Philippine Daily Inquirer.

The Manila Hotel. (2021). You are safe here. Retrieved
September 30, 2021, from https://www.

Mendoza, R. U. (2020, May 14). Fighting COVID-19
in the Philippines: The scalpel vs the axe. The
Diplomat. Retrieved November 18, 2020, from

National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management
Council. (2020). National Task Force
Coronavirus Disease 2019: Situational
Report (No. 43).

Nicola, M., Alsafi, Z., Sohrabi, C., Kerwan, A., Al-Jabir,
A., Iosifidis, C., Agha, M., & Agha, R. (2020).
The socio-economic implications of the
coronavirus pandemic (COVID-19): A review.
International Journal of Surgery, 78, 185-193.

Partlow, M. J. (2021, February 26). More than 1.3-K
tourism workers in NegOr get gov't cash aid.
Philippine News Agency. https://www.pna.

Philippine News Agency. (2020a, June 10). DOT
issues protocols for tourist land and transport.

Philippine News Agency. (2020b, June 30). Tourism
players urged to go to digital amid COVID.

Philippine News Agency. (2021, April 19). DOT lauds
repurposed hotel for coronavirus fight.

Picazo, O. F. (2013). Medical tourism in the Philippines:
Market profile, benchmarking exercise, and
SWOT analysis (PIDS Discussion Paper Series
No. 2013-45). Retrieved November 18, 2020,

Philippine Statistics Authority. (2020a). Share of
tourism to GDP is 12.7 percent in 2019. Retrieved
November 18, 2020, from

Philippine Statistics Authority. (2020b). Employment
situation in July 2020. Retrieved November
18, 2020, from

Pilapil-Añasco, C., & Lizada, J. (2014). Philippine
tourism: Evolution towards sustainability.
SHS Web of Conferences, 12. doi:10.1051/

PricewaterhouseCoopers (PWC). (2020). Impact
of COVIDD-19 on the Philippine tourism
industry. Retrieved November 18, 2020, from

Qiu, R.T.R., Park, J., Li, S., & Song, H. (2020). Social costs
of tourism during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Annals of Tourism Research, 84, 102994.

Ritchie, B. (2008). Tourism and disaster planning
and management: From the Response and
recovery reduction and readiness. Current
Issues in Tourism, 11(4), 315-348. https://doi.

Philippine Economic Stimulus Act, 18th Congress,
1st Regular Session (2020). Retrieved
November 17, 2020, from https://legacy.!.pdf

Sharma, A., & Nicolau, J. L. (2020). An open market
valuation of the effects of COVID-19 on
the travel and tourism industry. Annals of
Tourism Research, 83, 102990. https://doi.

Sigala, M. (2020). Tourism and COVID-19: impacts
and implications for advancing and
resetting industry and research. Journal of
Business Research, 117, 312-321. https://doi.

Sobieralski, J. B. (2020). COVID-19 and airline
employment: Insights from historical
uncertainty shocks to the industry.
Transportation Research Interdisciplinary
Perspectives, 5, 100123. https://dx.doi.

Srivastava, S. (2016). Agritourism as a strategy for
the development of rural areas case study
of Dungrajya Village, Southeast Rajasthan,
India. Quest Journals Journal of Research in
Humanities and Social Science, 4(7), 104-108.

Taculao, P. (2021, June 23). How to start a farm and
agritourism site. Manila Bulletin.

Tourism Act of 2009, 14th Congress, 2nd Regular
Session (2009). Retrieved November 17,
2020, from

UÄŸur N. G., & Akbiyik, A. (2020). Impacts of
COVID-19 on global tourism industry: A crossregional
comparison. Tourism Management Perspectives, 36, 100744.

United Nations. (2020). COVID-19 pandemic
demonstrates multilateral cooperation key
to overcoming global challenges, president
stresses as general assembly concludes annual

United Nations Conference on Trade and
Development (UNCTAD). (2020). COVID-19 and
tourism: Assessing the economic consequences.
Retrieved November 18, 2020, from https://

United Nations News. (2020). COVID-19: Impact
could cause equivalent of 195 million job losses,
says ILO chief. 8 April. Retrieved November
18, 2020, from

United Nations World Tourism Organization
(UNWTO). (2020). Impact assessment of the
COVID-19 outbreak on international tourism.
Retrieved November 18, 2020, from https://

Ural, M. (2016). Risk management for sustainable
tourism. European Journal of Tourism,
Hospitality and Recreation, 7(1), 63-71.

Valle, A. S. D. (2020). The tourism industry and
the impact of COVID-19: Scenarios and
proposals. Global Journey Consulting.
Retrieved November 17, 2020, from https://

Velos, S., Go, M., Bate, G., & Joyohoy, E. (2020). A
seasonal autoregressive integrated moving
average (SARIMA) model to forecasting
tourist arrival in the Philippines: A case study
in Moalboal, Cebu (Philippines). Recoletos
Multidisciplinary Research Journal, 8(1), 67-78.

Wahyuningtyas, N., Tanjung, A., Idris, I., & Islam, M. N. (2020).
Accelerating tourism development by community preparedness
on disaster risk in Lombok, Indonesia. GeoJournal of Tourism
and Geosites, 29(2), 545–553. doi:10.30892/gtg.29213-488

World Health Organization. (2020). Listings of WHO’s
response to COVID-19. Retrieved September 30, 2021, from

Zenker, S., & Kock, F. (2020. The coronavirus pandemic:
A critical discussion of a tourism research agenda.
Tourism Management, 81, 104164.




How to Cite

Andulana, D. D., Calijan, M. T., & Albina, A. C. (2021). Challenges and Opportunities in Philippine Tourism amid the COVID-19 Pandemic. Recoletos Multidisciplinary Research Journal, 9(2), 67–87.