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Tourism Secretary Bernadette Romulo-Puyat on Wednesday said the Philippine tourism sector will lose P42.9 billion in foregone revenue due to the travel ban on passengers from China and its other territories affected by the novel coronavirus crisis.

“The expected reduction in various visitor arrivals from the markets affected will result in foregone revenue that will carry over until about April this year, totaling an estimated value of P38 billion,” she said at the hearing of the House committees on tourism and economic affairs.

“But that’s only from China, Hong Kong and Macau, but if we include Taiwan, it will be P42.9 billion,” Puyat told the House body.

“While travel restrictions are enforced to protect the health of Filipinos, tourism’s direct gross value added will likely decrease. It is still to early to ascertain the economic effects of these efforts to safeguard the people, but the DOT will provide periodic updates as the situation involves,” she said.

“The Civil Aeronautics Board reports at least 465 cancelled flights per week to the Philippines from China, Hong Kong, Macau and Taiwan, equivalent to 101,452 seats as of February 11,” Puyat said.

“The cruise industry also suffers from the impact of the 2019-nCov with 11 cancellations of cruise calls to various Philippine ports as of February 7. Ships that were cancelled either originate from China or Hong Kong or carry passengers who have transited in Hong Kong prior to the Philippines,” she added.

Puyat said efforts are being undertaken by the DOT to soften the impact, including meetings and consultations with stakeholders.

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