By: Business Mirror
Battling an anticipated decrease in visitor arrivals due to the Novel Corona Virus (Covid-19) issues dragging on international travel, the Department of Tourism (DOT) will push through its nationwide shopping festival project for the entire month of March.
Tourism Secretary Bernadette Romulo Puyat said that the projected losses by the tourism sector due to the travel bans on China, Hong Kong, Macau, and Taiwan will reach about P43 billion from February to April 2020.
Meanwhile, DOT Undersecretary Arturo Boncato said the Philippine Shopping Fest project is being carried out in coordination with all the malls and their branches nationwide, the Philippine Retailers Association, and tourism stakeholders groups like the Philippine Tour Operators Association, Philippine Travel Agencies Association, Hotel Sales and Marketing Association Inc., and the Philippine Hotel Owners Association.
The malls include the Araneta Group, Ayala Malls, Duty Free Philippines, Filinvest Malls, Greenfield Development Corp. (Paseo outlets), Megaworld Corp., Rockwell Land (Powerplant Mall), Robinsons Malls, Rustan’s Commercial Corp., Shangri-La Mall, SM SuperMalls, Stores Specialist Inc., and Vista Malls.
A number of travel packages are currently being finalized by the Philtoa, with HSMA president Christine U. Ibaretta assuring “over 30 hotels” as participants.
Although the mainland Chinese are major shoppers, the loss of the market due to the current travel ban hasn’t deterred the DOT from pursuing the shopping festival. Boncato said, “there are still other markets we can attract such as Korea, Japan, homecoming Pinoys (balikbayan from the United States), and ASEAN.”
He said local products will be pushed to the foreign visitors like local handicraft and jewelry.
The DOT has targeted foreign visitor arrivals to reach 9.2 million this year.
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