Where to next? Get ideas from these 'instagrammable' mall dioramas

Kristine Sabillo, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Oct 15 2019 07:37 PM

MANILA - The Department of Tourism (DOT) has tapped a new strategy to entice travelers -- inspired by the power of social media and traditional marketing. 

DOT and SM Supermalls, through the “Juan Fun Adventure” campaign, have started displaying “immersive” travel pods in malls to “encourage the public to venture outdoors and to discover the country’s tourist attractions.”

With every selfie posted by a mall customer in his or her social media account, Philippine tourist destinations are also promoted.

Tourism Asec. Howie Uyking said the photo pods will also allow mallgoers to discover and take photos with lesser known tourist destinations.

“We’re hoping when they visit the mall either to work or to shop they see this diorama, this entire exhibition and somehow inspire them to travel domestically, to visit some of the lesser known destinations we’re trying to promote right now,” he said.

The dioramas will be going around SM malls starting Tuesday until April next year.

The dioramas feature destinations such as Sirao Farm in Cebu, Davao Farm and Falls in Mindanao, Calle Crisologo in Vigan, Mayon Volcano in Albay, and Puerto Princesa Underground River in Palawan.

“This has some of the destinations that a lot of us don’t know of but are equally fascinating,” Uyking said.

Tourism Sec. Bernadette Romulo-Puyat said DOT wanted to showcase the Philippines as a “uniquely beautiful country blessed with a diverse range of places to explore - from our beaches to attractions that have been worthy to be called among the wonders of the world.”

Malls also remain a strategic location for tourism promotion. 

“It’s because our malls in the Philippines are very experiential,” said SM Supermalls chief operating officer Steven Tan, adding that there are a lot of other activities that Filipinos do at the malls aside from shopping.

While they don’t consider malls as tourism destinations, the DOT believes that it helps boost local tourist spots.

“Shopping is now a determinant factor affecting the tourism choice,” Romulo-Puyat said. “Leisure, entertainment and shopping tourism is one of the 10 products we want to enhance in the next few years.”

“We see shopping tourism as a catalyst for economic growth,” she added, explaining that it helps generate more employment.

Uyking said malls are also able to “entice foreign tourists to spend more,” allowing small and medium enterprises to earn more.