Despite the threat of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19), President Duterte will be personally supporting the local retail and tourism sectors by joining promotional tours around the country in conjunction with the monthlong “2020 Philippine Shopping Festival” in March.
Tourism Secretary Bernadette Romulo-Puyat said Duterte will be joining them in touring the major islands in the country, including Bohol, Cebu and Boracay.
This is to impress upon foreign and local tourists that it is safe to travel around the Philippines even with the COVID-19 reaching the country.
The DOT said this will boost the first-ever shopping festival in the Philippines, which will run from March 1 to 31 in Metro Manila, Agusan Del Norte, Antique, Bacolod, Baguio, Bataan, Bicol Region, Bukidnon, Bulacan, Butuan City, Cagayan De Oro, Cagayan Valley, CALABARZON, Camarines Sur, Capiz, Cebu, Davao, Ilocos Norte, Iloilo, Lanao Del Norte, Legazpi City in Albay, Leyte, Misamis Oriental, Negros Occidental, Negros Oriental, Nueva Ecija, Palawan, Pampanga, Pangasinan, South Cotabato (General Santos City), and Zambales (Olongapo City).
The DOT said it aims to position the country as a destination where shopping is fun, unique, and affordable. Based on DOT’s Visitor Sample Survey in 2018, shopping is the most common tourist activity in the country at 38 percent.
“It’s not hard to see that elevating the shopping experience will go a long way to enhance the attractiveness of our tourist destinations all over the Philippines, whether it is our big cities or in our beautiful provinces. We’ve recognized this in the National Tourism Development Plan of 2016-2022, where leisure, entertainment and shopping tourism is one of the 10 products we want to further develop in the next few years,” Puyat said.
The campaign goes by the slogan “There’s Fun in Every Find”, a tweaking of the DOT’s “It’s More Fun in the Philippines” official marketing pitch. #FunFinds2020 is the official hashtag.
Puyat said the shopping fest will also feature variety of Philippine-made items. “Buying local helps support our craftsmen and artisans, as well as their communities; more importantly, it helps preserve our culture, traditions, and Filipino way of life.”
During the shopping fest, foreign and local tourists alike can expect 15 percent to 70 percent discounts on many exciting Philippine-made products, including food and dining, jewelry and fashion, crafts, furniture, and decor, and beauty and wellness products, enabling shopping an integral part of visitors’ itineraries.
Travelers can also look for affordable airfares and cheaper hotel accommodations for the promotion period.
“We invite all tourists to ‘Be Part of the Fun’ by supporting the 2020 Philippine Shopping Sale this March. We also look forward to it becoming a yearly and anticipated feature on the nation’s event calendar,” said Puyat.
Interested consumers can revel on the shopping sale through participating malls such as Araneta Group, Ayala Land Malls, Inc., Duty Free Philippine Corporation, Filinvest Land Inc., Greenfield Development Corporation, Vista Malls, Megaworld Corporation, Oritgas Land, Power Plant Mall, Robinsons Land Corporation, Rustan Commercial Corporation, Shangri-La Plaza Corporation, SM Supermalls, and Stores Specialists, Inc.
Associations supporting the event are the Hotel Sales and Marketing Association, Philippine Franchise Association, Philippine Owners Association Inc., Philippine Retailers Association, Philippine Tour Operators Association, Philippine Travel Agencies Association, and Tourism Congress of the Philippines.
Airlines including Philippine Airlines, Cebu Pacific Air, Air Asia, Air Carriers Association of the Philippines will be slashing off airfare tickets to spur domestic tourism.
“This ambitious project, designed to increase tourism expenditure in the country, would not have been possible without the full support and cooperation of the nation”s mall operators, retailers, franchise holders, hotel and tour operators, and travel agencies,” added Puyat.