By Bernie Cahiles-Magkilat
Duty Free Philippines Corporation (DFPC) has announced plans to open new stores at the international airports of Puerto Princesa, Palawan and Panglao, Bohol this year.
DFC Chief Operating Officer (COO) Vicente Pelagio Angala said that with this expansion, the state-owned retail company is giving speed to its target of reaching 15 percent of the international traveller by 2027.
“We are in coordination with the Department of Transportation (DOTr) and definitely it will happen this year,” said Angala.
Angala also revealed that DFPC’s total sales reached $217 million in 2018, a 2 percent growth from 2017.
Filipino tourists, Balikbayan’s and OFWs remain the DFPC’s top source market with 59.9 million USD total of transactions, followed by the Americans ($4.9 million), Chinese (1.5 million USD), and Canadians ($1.1 million).
While the top five best-selling categories are confectionary, liquors and spirits, perfume and cosmetics, fashion, and supermarket.
“One of the factors that contributed to this growth is our partnerships with third-party online payments solutions such as Alipay and WeChat,” said Angala.
“Our collaboration also with the Department of Trade and Industry’s Go Lokal program has steadily grown to this day and we expected to continue to grow in the coming years,” he added.
In line with the thrust of Secretary Bernadette Romulo-Puyat to promote proudly Pinoy-made products, DFPC in close coordination with the Department of Tourism in adding homegrown products thru the Philippines’ Finest Kiosk.
These plans and programs bode well for the DFPC’s higher target of US$ 220 million for 2019.
“With the challenges and hurdles the industry is facing, The DFP will stay committed to its mandate to boost the country’s tourism industry by providing Filipino travellers with an extensive range of gifts to bring home to their loved ones,” said Angala.