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Philippine Shopping Festival postponed due to coronavirus threat

The first Philippine Shopping Festival, a nationwide sale promotion aimed at getting people into malls, has been postponed due to the rise of coronavirus disease worldwide.

The Department of Tourism (DOT) announced the postponement of the month-long event just one day before it was supposed to start on Sunday, saying it prioritised the safety of the public more than visitor or tourist arrivals and revenue.

“The malls are still free to continue (their) day-to-day operations. The DOT also recommends that malls follow the precautionary measures set by the Department of Health, such as checking the temperatures of mall-goers before allowing them to enter and the provision of more hand sanitisers in their premises,” said Tourism Secretary Bernadette Romulo-Puyat.

The Philippine Shopping Festival was intended to be the country’s answer to Singapore’s Great Sale and Hong Kong’s Summer Sale.

DOT targeted attracting foreign and local tourists where they could expect 15 to 70 per cent discounts on Philippine-made products including food and dining, jewellery and fashion, crafts, furniture, and decor as well as beauty and wellness.

Shopping is the most common tourist activity in the country at 38 per cent based on the department’s Visitor Sample Survey in 2018.

Puyat advised the public to maintain proper hygiene and follow the guidelines set by the Department of Health to contain the spread of the virus.

The department has not yet decided on a new date for the Philippine Shopping Festival.

The shopping festival is supported by the Philippine Retailers Association, Philippine Franchise Association, Philippine Owners Association Inc, Hotel Sales and Marketing Association and others.

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