By Joyce Ann L. Rocamora
The Department of Tourism (DOT) and major malls across the country partnered to attract highly-coveted shoppers from China and other Asian nations with its planned month-long nationwide shopping event in March 2020.
Dubbed “Philippine Fun Sale”, DOT Secretary Bernadette Romulo-Puyat said the event would be the first of its kind in the country and is seen to promote the Philippines as an emerging shopping hub in Asia.
“By March we will have the first Philippine Fun Sale, for the first time, all malls will hold a sale at the same time,” Romulo-Puyat said at a forum in Malate on Wednesday.
“It will be in Luzon, Visayas, and Mindanao to attract tourists to come during March,” she added.
At present, the agency is still polishing the details about the event, but DOT Assistant Secretary Howard Lance Uyking said the Philippine Fun Sale will be the country’s version of the Great Singapore Sale and Hong Kong’s Summer Sale.
“What makes this different aside from our image of fiesta and fun is the fact that we’re also an archipelago so we’re not just concentrated in one city like Singapore and Hong Kong, we have several cities here so we’re also promoting tourism that way,” he said in an interview.
For the shopping event’s pilot run in March 2020, Uyking said the government is targeting visitors from Southeast Asia, East Asia, and North Asia, mainly the Chinese, Japanese, and Taiwanese market.
“We’re still in talks with the malls and some of the brands but we want to give premium discounts to foreigners with the current sales that we have right now and also the focus would also be on local products,” he told the Philippine News Agency (PNA).
“We’re promoting this abroad so there will be a campaign starting early next year. More than the arrivals, this whole event is really for the revenue so we’re in the talks to set the revenue target that will be brought about by this sale,” he added.
Presently, 10 mall chains have confirmed to join the Philippine Fun Sale. These are SM, Ayala Malls, Megaworld, Vista Land, Robinsons, Stores Specialists, Inc., Shangri-La Plaza, Power Plant, Ortigas & Company, and The Araneta Group.
Shopping tourism is one of the 10 products indicated in the agency’s National Tourism Development Plan of 2016-2022, coming in line with the recent report by the United Nations World Tourism Organization that cited shopping as an “increasingly relevant component” of the tourism value chain as it becomes “a determinant factor affecting destination choice” and in some cases the prime travel motivation. (PNA)
PNA photo by Gil Calinga