Chinese visitors stoke duty-free brands’ interest in the Philippines

Shoppers at the Manila Ninoy Aquino International Airport

Philippine tourism secretary Wanda Teo is optimistic that more global premium brands would increase their duty-free retail presence in the country in anticipation of steady growth in Chinese arrivals.

“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 per cent in the next decade,” said Teo at the recently-concluded 2017 Duty Free & Travel Retail Global Summit held at Cannes, France.

Shoppers at the Manila Ninoy Aquino International Airport

During a meeting at the summit, Clarins general manager 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, the brand will be expanding their presence in the Duty-Free Philippines (DFP) stores, according to a statement.

Callens added Clarins would also be deploying Mandarin-speaking sellers knowing that beauty products need explaining when being sold.

And in a meeting with Chanel managing director for travel retail for the Asia-Pacific region Herve Ducros, Teo was told the brand is set to open a section in DFP in 1Q2018.

Ducros is confident the Chanel brand will attract high-spenders, especially Chinese tourists, said the statement.

“Bringing in (more) global premium brands would be an additional incentive to attract more Chinese tourists, particularly the luxury segment,” Teo added.

In July this year, China outranked the US to become the Philippines’ second top tourist source market, next to South Korea.

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