About a hundred of the country’s biggest malls are expected to participate in the "Philippine Shopping Festival," the biggest nationwide grand sale, slated for this month.
The festival, which will be held from Oct 23.to Nov 8, is a two week-long sale where shopping malls and retailers in the Philippines offer different discounts and promo to entice both people to shop.
Organized by the Philippine Retailers Association (PRA), together with the Department of Tourism (DOT), the festival is also being eyed to become a yearly event.
PRA said that the festival was expected to contribute to development of the Philippine retail industry, and at the same time, make the Philippines a new shopping destination in the Asia Pacific region.
The association said that Philippines had just as much competitive edge as that of countries like Hong Kong and Singapore which have been known in the region as go-to shopping destinations.
PRA president Lorenzo Formoso said that this would be the first time for the country in holding the festival after almost 13 years.
“…We came up with an idea of promoting shopping in the Philippines during the time all delegates from APRC and APEC will be here in the country,” Formoso said.
“For those who want to save money and take advantage of the sale, this is it,” he added.
Malls participating in the festival include Alimall, Araneta Center, Gateway, Farmer's Plaza, Alabag Town Center, Ayala Malls, Bonifacio High Street, Glorietta, Harbor Point, Marquee Mall, Market Market, Trinoma, Eastwood City, Megaworld Lifestyle Malls, Lucky Chinatown, Newport Mall, Tiendesitas, Vmall, Greenhills Shopping Center, Duty Free Philippines, Fisher Mall, Greenfield District, Riverbanks Center, Robinsons Malls, Shangri-La Plaza, Sta. Lucia Mall, Festival Mall, Fairview Terraces, Greenbelt, and Starmall, among others.
Shopping of tourism goods currently accounts for 15 percent of the total tourism expenditures recorded in 2014, second to accommodation which comprised 32 percent.
Foreign tourist arrivals in PHL surge 9.87% in first eight months this year
Foreign tourist arrivals in the country reached 3.59 million during the first eight months of this year, up 9.87 percent from 3.27-million visitors recorded in the same period last year, data from the Department of Tourism (DOT) showed.
DOT attributed this to the positive growth rates of the country’s top markets for the first eight months of the year. The top ten markets have also breached the 100,000- mark in arrivals.
Asia contributed the biggest arrivals to the Philippines with 335,255 visitors for a share of 69.74 percent to the total arrivals; followed by the Americans with 59,747 (12.43 percent), and Europe with 38,135 visitors (7.93 percent).
Australasia/Pacific contributed 4.22 percent; Overseas Filipinos, 3.07 percent; and the Middle East, 1.77 percent in the overall arrivals for the month.
Korea, which is still the top contributor of arrivals, brought in 901,749 visitors this year, which is a 15.04 percent increase versus its 783,852 visitors in 2014.
econd to Korea was the United States of America which brought in 531,217 visitors for the first eight months of the year, a growth of 7.68 percent, followed by Japan which brought in 334,881 visitors, up by 7.71 percent.
These countries were followed by China (322,417 visitors), Australia (153,097 visitors), Singapore (121,917 visitors), Taiwan (120,630 arrivals), Malaysia (103,995 visitors), United Kingdom (103,577 visitors), and Canada (102,293 arrivals).
Among the top 12 markets, DOT said that Taiwan registered the highest growth of 24.36 percent while Hong Kong continued to show marked improvement with a 10.39 percent increase in arrivals.
DOT said inbound tourists in August, which showed the highest growth rate for the year to date, totaled to 480,689 visitors, or an 18.41 percent increase compared to the August 2014 arrivals with 405,970 visitors.
Air arrivals to the country this month was recorded at 473,841 visitors while those who entered the country by sea was registered at 6,848 visitors.
Manila, the primary port of entry of the country, received the biggest number of visitors at 297,044 or 61.80 percent of the total arrivals. Cebu with 94,789 visitors shared 19.72 percent, followed by Kalibo with 63,925 visitors or 13.30 percent of the total.
The other ports provided a combined arrivals of 18,083 sharing 3.76 percent to the total arrivals. Arrivals by sea which constituted 1.42 percent of the total summed up to 6,848.
The department is targeting about five million tourists by yearend and 10-million tourists by 2016. (PNA) RMA/Azer N. Parrocha