There is new optimism among the economic managers and travel and leisure executives that the tourism sector, severely challenged during the pandemic, were to achieve its full potential as a growth driver this year again.
This was manifested in latest forecasts released by the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) in which tourism receipts were seen growing 100 percent this year instead of an earlier forecast growth of only 25 percent.
When the economic managers first made simulations in December last year, the optimism was limited to a sector expansion of only 25 percent.
That reflected cautious optimism on the part of government planners which noted that the ongoing pandemic caused the sector to contract by 81.7 percent in 2020 and by 66.5 percent in 2021.
With most of the country’s tourism attractions now opened for the influx of local and foreign travelers, the government is increasingly optimistic that tourism receipts that in 2019 contributed nearly 13 percent to local output measured as the gross domestic product (GDP), should contribute a substantial amount to overall expansion again.