CANNES, France - “The Philippines is in a position to join the ranks of countries whose Duty Free industry is expected to grow by an average of 40 percent in the next decade,” said Department of Tourism (DOT) Secretary Wanda Tulfo-Teo at the recently-concluded 2017 Duty Free & Travel Retail Global Summit held at Cannes, France.
Teo expressed optimism that the global premium brands are now looking to increase their presence in the country in anticipation of the steady growth in arrival of Chinese tourists.
“Bringing in the global premium brands would be an additional incentive to attract more Chinese tourists, particularly the luxury segment,” Secretary Teo added.
In July this year, China outranked the US, bringing it up as the country’s second largest tourist market source, next to Korea. Chinese tourists are known to enjoy the outdoor destinations and shopping of premium brands.
Clarins GM for Travel Retail for the Asia Pacific Region Alexandre Callens told Secretary Teo that with the recent approval and implementation of the Visa Upon Arrival (VUA) for Chinese tourists in the country, they will be expanding their presence in the Duty-Free Philippines (DFP) stores.
Callens added they will also be deploying Mandarin speaking sellers knowing that the beauty products need explaining when being sold.
In a meeting also with Chanel Managing Director for Travel Retail for the Asia Pacific Region Herve Ducros, Teo was informed that this premium brand is set to open a section in DFP in the first quarter of 2018.
Ducros said the Chanel brand will definitely attract the big spending tourists especially the Chinese tourists.
Mondelez food products will also increase its presence in DFP outlets because it has historically been a best seller at the Philippine market.
Teo also met with Anton Huang of Store Specialists Inc., (SSI), Chim Esteban of the long- time suppliers of cologne and beauty products; and, Robert Colombo of CMK, supplier of Licquor.
Joining Teo at the summit were DOT Undersecretary Benito C. Bengzon, Jr., DFP COO Vicente Pelagio Angala, DOT Assistant Secretaries Arlene Mancao and Frederick Alegre.
The summit is a flagship event of the Tax Free World Association (TFWA) wherein thousands of delegates gather in October for a week of business and networking. The much-attended duty free industry event combines a shop window for premium brands with an experts forum and the chance to network with key influencers.
This year, 515 companies registered as exhibitors based across 472 stands, an increase of 4.7 percent from 492 in 2016. This year’s show expects to outdo last year’s 6,500 delegates and 6,400 visitors with the launch of the new Digital Village, which showcases how new technologies can be utilized in duty-free and travel retail.