The number of tourist arrivals in the country is expected to reach the pre-pandemic figure of 1.3 million by October, according to the Bureau of Immigration.

BI spokesperson Dana Sandoval yesterday said the bureau is expecting an increase in the number of visitors by October and December.

During these months, balikbayans, overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) and foreigners return home or visit the Philippines to reunite with their families and friends, and experience the local Christmas celebration.

'We are almost seeing pre-pandemic figures and projecting that by October, the numbers can rise to 1.3 million and 1.7 million by December,' Sandoval said.

For the month of July, Sandoval said the number of visitors was estimated to be more than 1.2 million, which was lower compared to the P1.4 million arrivals recorded during the same period in 2019 or before the COVID pandemic.

'Normally, there is no significant increase in the number of arrivals during the 'ber months,' Sandoval said.

The 'ber months refer to September, October, November and December.

For August and September, the bureau foresees a dip in the figures of inbound travelers due to the rainy season and start of the school year.

Sandoval earlier said that international airports were being prepared for the 'ber months.

She said more officers would be deployed to man the immigration counters at the airports.

'The traveling public can be assured that our counters would be fully manned, particularly the immigration counters at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport, where a majority of visitors arrive,' she said.

Copyright © 2022 PhilSTAR Daily, Inc Provided by SyndiGate Media Inc. (