More premium brands sought

Katlene O. Cacho

THE growing number of Chinese arrivals to the Philippines is seen to drive more global premium brands to enter the Philippine market, the Department of Tourism (DOT) said on Monday.

Tourism Secretary Wanda Teo said the country is in a position to join the ranks of other countries whose duty free industry is expected to grow by an average of 40 percent in the next decade.

Teo said 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,” said Teo in a statement.

Teo was recently in Cannes, France for the 2017 Duty Free & Travel Retail Global Summit.

In July this year, China outranked the US 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, the DOT said.

Clarins general manager for travel retail for the Asia Pacific Alexandre Callens, in a meeting with Teo, said they will be expanding their presence in the Duty-Free Philippines (DFP) stores following the recent approval and implementation of the visa upon arrival (VUA) for Chinese tourists in the country.

They will also be deploying Mandarin speaking sellers to educate buyers on the brand’s beauty products.

Chanel managing director for travel retail for the Asia Pacific Herve Ducros, likewise, informed Teo that they are set to open a section in DFP in the first quarter of 2018. Mondelez food products will also increase its presence in DFP outlets.

The DOT official also met with Anton Huang of Store Specialists Inc., (SSI), Regent Asia chairman and managing director Jose Maria Esteban III, who are long-time suppliers of cologne and beauty products; and, Robert Colombo of CMK, supplier of liquor.

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.

This year, 515 companies registered as exhibitors, up by 4.7 percent from 492 in 2016. This year’s show expects to exceed 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.