Friday, May 24, 2019

DOT’s Partnership with SM Supermalls to Boost the Tourism Industry

For the tourism sector, shopping is no longer a secondary activity but is in fact an integral part of the tourist experience.

To learn about what other activities that tourists most actively participate in, aside from their main purpose of travel, the Department of Tourism (DOT) undertakes the Visitor Sample Survey (VSS), a monthly passenger exit survey done on randomly selected pre-departure visitors at various international gateways in the country.

For 2018, the results showed that shopping is the most common activity at 38 percent followed by sightseeing at 30.5 percent.  Other activities are sports, nature and adventure, scuba diving and visiting friends and relatives.

These numbers validate DOT’s positioning in which the National Tourism Development Plan (NTDP) of 2016-2022 focuses on leisure, entertainment and shopping tourism as one of the 10 products that will be developed and promoted in next three years.

In order to achieve this goal, DOT needs the collaboration and investment of the private sector.

The launch of year-long campaign titled Malling is More Fun in the Philippines last Friday, May 17, 2019 at the SM Mega Fashion Hall in Megamall sets the tone on how the government and the private sector can successfully work together to boost Philippine tourism and its offerings.

Malling is More Fun in the Philippines campaign is a collaborative undertaking of the Department of Tourism (DOT) and SM Prime Holdings’ SM Supermalls.

The project is part of the refreshed DOT marketing campaign It’s More Fun in the Philippines launched in February 2019. The concept for It’s More Fun in the Philippines is to create a series of advertising materials featuring photos, videos, and comments that Philippine citizens and foreign visitors have allowed DOT to share.

From the original idea of using crowdsourcing for the advertising campaign, DOT Secretary Bernadette Romulo Puyat expanded it to promote the value of collectively working towards a common goal—the spirit of Bayanihan. The DOT Secretary invited the private sector to collaborate with the government.

“The private sector plays a vital part in developing our tourism infrastructure and enhancing our products. It is a priority that we collaborate with them,” Puyat explained. “SM has been generous in helping DOT not only promote our More Fun ad campaign but also providing tourists a fun experience.”

She added, “While the sheer size of some of SM malls has always been a source of amazement, what has become more important is the breadth of services it offers to locals and tourists alike.”

 Malling Is More Fun for the Economy

From DOT’s perspective, shopping is a tourism product with great potential to generate revenue for the national and local economy.

Shopping malls and shopping centers create commercial exchanges that generate economic value and secure livelihoods for millions of people.

 For many members of the surrounding communities, shopping centers have become one of their primary sources of livelihood. It is among the reasons DOT is encouraging tourists and the retail sector to choose local, which enables the revenue generated by shoppers to be effectively redistributed to homegrown businesses in cities and rural areas, and help local communities.

 “We’ve only seen the tip of the iceberg in terms of shopping tourism’s potential. With our partnership with SM Supermalls, we’re definitely ready for more. Let’s open the doors with a smile, and proudly show the world why malling, just like everything else, is more fun in the Philippines,” Puyat concluded.


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