Developing Divisoria as shopping tourism destination amidst COVID-19 pandemic

Revista Turismo & Desenvolvimento (Journal of Tourism and Development), 38, 129-140

Author(s)

Daryl Ace V. Cornell, Lenis Aislinn C. Separa, Celso Jovy D. Torreon

Abstract

The inevitable circumstance of Covid-19 to different tourism destinations requires a concerted effort of the government, industry, and academe in finding ways to continue tourism activities which safeguard the health of the people while contributing to the economic development of a destination. Thus, this research focuses how Divisoria may be branded as a potential shopping tourism destination for local and foreign tourists. Specifically, the variance in the assessments, motivating factors for shopping, and the necessary actions to make Divisoria a tourism destination that prioritizes welfare of tourists amid Covid-19 pandemic were investigated. Six (6) tourists were initially interviewed on how they think Divisoria can be promoted as a shopping tourism destination in the country and how the destination can be adept to Covid-19 pandemic. Sixty (60) respondents were then surveyed on the potential of Divisoria on being a tourist shopping district, focusing on the aspects of shopping culture, service quality, product value and reliability, physical features of stalls and supporting facilities. Tourists are found to be motivated to shop in Divisoria because of cheap finds, accessibility to transportation, variety of goods sold, and availability of local produce. They are also attracted to visit Divisoria due to the accounts of family and friends which increase their curiosity of the place, as well as the association of the destination to holidays. The added value of experiencing vast cultures in the Philippines through Divisoria can be considered a unique selling proposition of the place that may translate to multiplicity of positive word-of-mouth marketing.