International retail brands drive Phl tourism growth

Ehda Dagooc (The Freeman) - March 9, 2015 - 12:00am

CEBU, Philippines- The influx of signature brands in Cebu’s retail market gives boost to the province’s tourism growth as shopping tourism slowly emerges as one of the primary tourism drivers in the country.

“Shopping now has become essential to the destination mix,” said Network of Independent Travel Agencies (Nitas) chairman Robert Joseph.

In recent years, Cebu has become a favorite expansion site for international luxury brands, Joseph said this is a particular development that will not only benefit the local consumers but will also strengthen Cebu’s positioning as a world-class travel destination.      

The United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) bared in a report that shopping has become a motivation for people to travel.

The report further revealed that aside from sightseeing, the shopping aspect has become a crucial factor for travelers in choosing a destination.

Joseph added that the presence of international brands in the country, including Cebu, does not only reflect a lucrative high-end market and strong economic stature but will also strengthen the country’s positioning as an emerging Asian destination following the footsteps of Thailand and even Hong Kong.

Some Japanese nationals for instance, Joseph said travel to a destination primarily to shop, because products of the same brand names are sold cheaper in other countries like the Philippines.

The UNWTO report emphasized that shopping tourism is gaining in importance within a sector of tourism that is seeking to diversify in both mature and emerging markets.

It noted that shopping tourism is one of the drivers that will contribute to economic development and job creation worldwide.

The establishment of new shopping malls in Cebu, which stimulate luxury brands' interest to open shops here, is good for the province's tourism sector, and over-all economic growth.

Aside from fashion luxury brands, Joseph said affluent and high-spending tourists will also crave for expensive wines, and internationally-known fine dining restaurants in a destination.

The establishment of more Casinos also draws the wealthy travelers to the Philippines, and this particular market drives upswing tourism receipts for the country--if their kind of "taste" for shopping spree is readily available.

“We are cheaper here. That’s why more foreign tourists come here to shop although they have as many shops of this particular brand in their country,” said Joseph, explaining that while these luxury brands are also present in their respective countries, foreign tourists still opt to include shopping in their travel plans here because of the price disparity and the availability of more options for styles. (FREEMAN)

 

 

BRANDS CEBU HONG KONG NETWORK OF INDEPENDENT TRAVEL AGENCIES ROBERT JOSEPH SHOPPING SOME JAPANESE TOURISM UNITED NATIONS WORLD TOURISM ORGANIZATION
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