Philippines Tourism News: Known for its white sand beaches and rich coastal waters, the Philippines is reopened to foreign tourists two years later. The Philippines received more than 200 foreign tourists on Thursday and became the nearest country in Southeast Asia to reopen in a bid to revive the tourism industry that was hit when its borders closed to tourists, visited almost two years ago due to illness.
Known for its white sand beaches and rich marine life, the Philippines is experiencing a significant decline in heart disease.
The Manila Tourism Authority welcomes travelers from countries including the United States and China to visit the beaches or reunite with family and friends.
“I think this is going to be a huge boost for the tourism industry and the Philippine economy,” said Sean James Stickney, 31, a Malaysian social media influencer living in Australia who flew in to surprise his girlfriend.
In the fenced town of Intramuros, Manila, horse-drawn carriages and bicycle rides were being prepared for what they hoped would be a steady influx of tourists to recoup their income.
“Half of our foreign nationals live here, so we are very pleased to see that our country is finally open to foreign tourists,” said Russell Lejko, basketball manager.
Tourists are required to provide proof of vaccination, but should not be detained, and travel companies expect the drop in arrivals to be a flood that will lift the sector.
“We expect these numbers to continue to rise in the coming days, weeks and months,” said Jose Clemente, head of tourism.
The Philippines will have 8.26 million visitors in 2019, down from 82% in 2020 when the border closes.