Philippines to Hold Month-Long Sale

The Philippines, home to some of the world’s largest malls, will hold a month-long shopping sale this March, a move that could reinvigorate the retail sector hurt by the virus scare.

Mall operators like SM Prime Holdings and Ayala Land will participate in the sale.

The country’s promotion comes as retail sales are weighed down by the coronavirus that curbed tourism and kept shoppers at home. Sales in SM malls fell as much as 20% in the first few weeks of the outbreak.

The government is also banking on domestic tourism to help offset a sharp decline in international travelers, based on data from the Manila International Airport Authority. Private consumption accounts for about 74% of the economy, while tourism makes up about 12%.

International travelers saw a 17% year-on-year drop to 1.35 million in the January 25 to February 17 period, according to data. Domestic travelers declined 3.4% to 1.4 million.

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