Davao eyed as shopping hub

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Sunday, January 26, 2014


ALL seven major malls in Davao City will join forces for the first-time to position the city as the country's premiere shopping destination, with the launch of the four-week Big Davao Fun Sale on Saturday at the Marco Polo Hotel Davao.

Department of Tourism (DOT) Assistant Secretary Art Boncato Jr. said this is the first-time ever in the Philippines that a city is trying to set its mark not only as a tourism destination but also as a shopping hub, replicating the shopping frenzy environment in other countries like Dubai and Singapore.

He said the idea of coming up with the event came to be when the department called for a meeting with the mall executives in the middle of 2013 to discuss what would be the biggest draw to sustain its operations.

"For the past two or three years, we've seen a surge in the number of malls and retail centers in Davao," he said.

The Big Davao Fun Sale, which will run from March 14 to April 16, will be the biggest shopping event in the country, with the retail industry expected to take the lead.

Boncato added that the event will also attract more tourists in time for the Araw ng Dabaw in March, expecting a 15 percent increase in the number of arrivals. Last year, he said around 100,000 tourists were recorded for the period March to April.

The objectives of the shopping event include increase the number of consumers in all retail centers; increase the number of travelers enticed by shopping and dining; and, organize the retail industry in the city.

For his part, Jader Regis, assistant vice president for marketing of NCCC Mall, said it's not only the shopping that will lure tourists in, but the entire Davao experience.

Regis who is also president of Retail Association of Davao said participating malls will offer up to 80 percent discounts on items. The association was created last month.

Also, Mabuhay Taxi, one of the major taxi firms in the city, has also agreed to carry the promotional campaign of the shopping event on its 150 Black Taxi units.

In 2012, Black Taxis carried the DOT 11's tourism campaigns, showcasing the major and the new tourism destinations in Davao Region.

Various products will be put on sale; restaurants are also expected to join in the event.

He said there will be various themes for a specific period. From March 14 to 16 will be general sale; March 16 to 23 will be Health & Beauty; March 24 to 30 will be electronics and gadgets; March 31 to April 6 will be Home & Travel; April 7 to 16 will be Active Lifestyle/Fashion; and March 14 to April 16 will be Dining, Fruits & Flowers.

Regis added they are also hoping the participation from bus companies, offering tourists a free ride from the hotels to the malls and vice versa.

Earlier, Cebu Pacific announced that its the official airline partner of tourism and retail industries through offering seat sales.

Published in the Sun.Star Davao newspaper on January 27, 2014.

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