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You are here: Home News Blog Cagayan de Oro News Blog Central Visayas' tourism receipts ‘fell’ in February amid Covid-19 scare

Central Visayas' tourism receipts ‘fell’ in February amid Covid-19 scare

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THE Department of Tourism (DOT) 7 projected P2.2 billion in foregone revenues from the Chinese market alone because of the Covid-19 outbreak in February 2020.DOT 7 Director Shahlimar Tamano said this is

THE Department of Tourism (DOT) 7 projected P2.2 billion in foregone revenues from the Chinese market alone because of the Covid-19 outbreak in February 2020.

DOT 7 Director Shahlimar Tamano said this is because the Chinese were the second biggest tourist market in Central Visayas with 762,583 arrivals in 2019, an increase of 21 percent from the year before.

He said tourism-related businesses like hotels and tours are losing revenues as tourist arrivals dwindle to alarming levels.

“You cannot control what’s going on abroad. It is out of our control,” he said.

Based on DOT 7 records, 120,199 Chinese tourists visited the region in February 2019.

Using 2019 indicators like the average daily expenditure (US$120.60), average length of stay (three days) and the US dollar exchange rate to Philippine peso (US$1 is P50.66, as of Monday, March 9), the DOT 7 estimated a total of P2,203,101,989 in foregone revenues.

According to businessdictionary.com, foregone revenues, or earnings, “is the difference between earnings actually achieved and those that could have been obtained had circumstances and choices been different.”

Tamano said they did not include the January figures since the outbreak scare didn’t affect the economy until February.

In 2019, Central Visayas’ tourism receipts amounted to P97 billion, which excluded English as Second Language (ESL) schools and Airbnb. Of the amount, the Chinese market contributed P13.78 billion to the economy.

The DOT 7 adjusted estimates on how many days tourists stayed in the region from one day and a half to three days in 2019.

In 2018, the region only posted an income of P44 billion from tourism.

Tourism is not the only sector feeling the economic crunch.

The Cebu City Treasurer’s Office (CCTO) also expects its business tax collection to be affected by the Covid-19 outbreak.

Jerone Castillo, CCTO officer-in-charge, said several businesses have reported a drop in sales since the government imposed travel restrictions and the public started avoiding crowded places.

In January, the City collected around P1.4 billion in business taxes, up from the around P1.2 billion collected in the same period last year.

Castillo urged the City Council to pass a proposed tax amnesty ordinance to help ailing businesses, especially those that could hardly pay their tax penalties.

“This should be the right time wherein our business sector can avail itself of the tax amnesty. This is the time they need it the most,” he said.

The proposed tax amnesty ordinance aims to help erring taxpayers clear their records of any delinquencies by paying a compromise penalty of 20 percent on all unpaid local taxes, fees and charges. (JOB / JJL )


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