Duty Free Philippines Corp. (DFPC) doubled its sales growth in 2019 after a spike in tourist arrivals attributed to the Southeast Asian games and the rehabilitation of Boracay Island.

DFPC in a statement on Wednesday said its year-on-year sales growth grew by 4% in 2019, compared to 2% in 2018. Consolidated sales in 2019 grew to more than $226 million from $217 million

DFPC Chief Operating Officer Vicente Pelagio A. Angala said that the opening of Duty Free Luxe in November helped boost the sales growth. Duty Free Luxe is high-end, off-airport outlet housing international brands at Mall of Asia in Pasay City.

“We have always recognized the vital role that we play in making the Philippines a globally recognized quality destination. To realize that vision, we have officially launched Duty Free Luxe. It is a downtown store that will put the Philippines as a top-of-mind shopping destination to boost the country’s shopping tourism,” Mr. Angala said.

Filipino tourists, overseas Filipino workers, and balikbayan (visiting Filipinos who reside overseas) remained the top source of Duty Free sales, with a share of 85%.

The major growth driver is confectionaries, contributing 31% to total sales. Liquor products followed with 21%, fragrance and cosmetics at 18%, and fashion merchandise 10%.

DFPC, in partnership with the Department of Trade and Industry, launched in its Pasay store last year Go Lokal’s Marahuyo, a store for local products. DFPC also expanded its list of exclusive brands and renovated Fiestamall and NAIA Terminal 1 Arrival stores in 2019.

“Before the end of 2019, we have unveiled the newly-renovated Fiestamall. The elegant and more functional design will welcome customers particularly the remodelled food court, building facade, Customer Relations Registration lobby, and tourist lounge,” Mr. Angala said.

DFPC will be opening at Duty Free store at the Hilton Sun Valley Resort inside Clark Freeport Zone in the first quarter of 2020. — Jenina P. Ibañez