Manila 11th most attractive shopping destination in Asia Pacific –study

A Big Mac costs P112 in Manila, around P60 cheaper than in the United States which sells the iconic burger for at least P173 ($4.20).

This, according to a Global Blue survey, could be a plus factor for international shoppers to visit Manila. Global Shopper Index by Global Blue shows Manila as the 11th most attractive shopping destination for American shoppers in Asia-Pacific. Manila was ranked 11th most attractive city for American shoppers out of 25 Asia Pacific cities, following Tokyo, Japan; Seoul, South Korea; and Delhi, India. Hong Kong is the top shoppers' destination, followed by Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, and Shanghai, China.

Hong Kong, the top shopping destination in Asia Pacific, sells Big Mac for $2.12 (P87.35).

The rankings are based on five categories, including shops, affordability, hotel and transport, culture and climate, and convenience, Business Wire reported. The index score is made up of 38 criteria according to the five categories, and are evaluated quantitatively.

The average category score of each city were computed to give an overall criteria score. These scores were then converted to an index score between zero and 100. The Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) developed all the criteria and categories, putting equal weight in each one.

Global Blue, an internationally known shopping tourism company based in Switzerland, developed the survey together with EIU. Global Blue recently expanded the existing 33 European cities and added 25 Asia-Pacific cities in their rankings of the best shopping destinations in various parts of the globe.

Business Wire also reported, "Index cities were selected based on visitor numbers and economic importance, whilst also factoring geographic diversity. Cities were chosen from Asia-Pacific countries with GDP PPP greater than €50 billion (P2.67 trillion), with bigger economies being represented by more than one city."

"The Globe Shopper Index is a guide for international travel shoppers on the best cities to visit in Europe and Asia-Pacific," Global Blue President and CEO Pwer Setterberg said in a statement.

"Expansion of the Globe Shopper Index to include Asia-Pacific cities demonstrates Global Blue’s dedication to ensuring the best possible experience for travel shoppers," he added.

Steals and deals in Manila

Thanks to the cheap public transport and inexpensive two- and four-star hotels, Manila fared well in the "affordability" category.

The wide range of shopping malls in the city also helped Manila to gain more points, with five huge malls available to international shoppers.

But a poor performance in "hotels and transport" and "shops" categories pulled Manila down in the rankings.

Globe Shopper Index report also said that Manila appears unattractive to global shoppers mainly because of limited availability of hotels and quality of public transport, and the limited range of large brands available in its malls.

Overall, Manila was ranked 51st out of the 100 cities in their database.

According to the Global Shopper Index, "Geographically, spiritually and culturally set apart from mainland Southeast Asia, Manila can feel different than the rest of Asia. Shoppers will admire colonial architecture, stunning stone churches and lively town plazas as they stroll between shops."

Global shopping nations

The Globe Shopper Index offers a good database for researching about a destination city. The information is deemed useful for global shoppers who care about a lot of things, from finding a perfect lunch venue, to getting great bargains, to locating a 24/7 shopping culture, or even just a place to look for the biggest variety of luxury goods.

Global Blue said that their company "works with over 270,000 of the world’s favorite retailers, shopping brands and hotels in over 40 countries; and serves in excess of 60,000 travellers each and every day." –KG, GMA News