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The Philippines - Fastest Glowing Economy In South East Asia


“The Philippines will continue to be the fastest-growing economy in the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean), despite the Covid-19 pandemic crisis that affect the world. The Philippinie Statistics Authority reported its GDP hit a remarkable 5.6% exceeded the projected forecast by the Asian Development Bank.

On 26 January 2022, in the Economic Outlook Briefing organized by the Board of Investments (BOI), the IHS Markit (a global data & financial expect) forecast the Philippine economy to grow strongly in 2022. According to Rajiv Biswas, Executive Director and APAC Chief Economist of IHS Markit, 2022 will be another year of global recovery, with around 7% GDP growth forecast for the Philippines helped by buoyant domestic demand. He added "The key factor that will improve the attractiveness of the Philippines economy over the next decade is the burgeoning size of the domestic consumer market."


The total population of the Philippines is now standing at 112.5 million people in 2021, of which 12% are staying in Metro Manila. Children below 15 year old makes up of 34.6%, between 16 to 64 year old, 61.1%, which means more than 95% of the whole population is under 64 years old. It is considered still a country with youthful population. With Philippine's economy growing stronger, households are spending more on recreation and cultural activities.

Rising Spending Power

With the country ‘s economic fast growing as now the fastest in among ASEAN countries, citizens' income has increased. Households are allocating more expenditures to Recreation and Cultural activities. From 2017 to 2019, total expenditure estimate has increased from US$3.92 to US$5.90 billion.  However, the Covid-19 has reduced it to US$3.42 billion in 2021 due to many lock-downs and stay-home orders issued by the Task Force. With the pandemic turning to endemic, the projected total expenditure estimate is projected to hit US$6 billion in 2024.

Aside from food, shopping and park going are the most popular and favourite activities among Filipinos. Statistics found 27% of R&R activity-time are spent on amusement and recreation activities. There are more than 120 amusement and water parks across the country built on vast resorts and major popular tourist areas. Manila already has more that 21 of such theme parks located mainly in huge shopping malls and casino resorts.

Courtesy of Mall Of Asia - Outdoor Park

Shopping Mall, Entertainment, Amusement & Parks

Having a huge consumer market with rising spending power, the rise in additional themepark, waterpark, entertainment and FEC coming on board in the Philippines is of no surprise.

Pampanga, the next business district at Clark Freeport Zone, is experiencing an improved activities with new attractions rising. Aqua Planet, a 10-hectares with 38 rides waterpark, commercially open its door in February 2018 and soon to rise is another new addition in Pampanga which will be located on Pradera Islands.

Meanwhile, malls are not losing out to keep the family within reach on entertainment, amusement and park going activities while the family go shopping together. Existing malls are expanding their offerings to include amusement  games & arcades, FEC, fun-ride & movie-based theme parks, indoor water parks & swimming pools, IMAX theatres, ice-skating rinks and edutainment kid-zones, which is fast becoming the growing trend.

SM Mall Of Asia, the large shopping malls in the Philippines, has an Olympic-sized skating rink, an IMAX theater and a fun-ride theme park. In Cebu, a water-park was built on the roof top of the mall. In Manila alone, there are over 225 large-size shopping malls with more than 110 outside. And adding to another 15 new shopping malls are under construction, it simply translates to more opportunities for equipment suppliers to capture this rising market trend.

Fast Glowing Attractions Market

 Courtesy of Aqua Planet in Pampanga

Birdeye View on Pradera Islands Theme Park - photo courtesy of blooloop

Courtesy of Jpark Island Resort & Waterpark

Attractions are getting bigger in the Philippines. In February 2018, a 10-hectares with 38 slides Aqua Planet waterpark opened its door in Clark Freeport Zone, Pampanga. Coming soon, a new world-class 23-hectares themepark designed by a Spanish attractions specialist will be built on the Pradera Islands, Pampanga. And another waterpark with 50 swimming pools will be built on Panglao Island, Bohol.

While on-land attractions and waterparks are gaining ground, it is of no surprise with so many beach resorts around the islands on-water inflatables are fast catching up. The Chinese's inflatable is doing extremely well, with one supplier capturing 80% of the inflatable market.

Other attractions that has great potential to grow are wall climbing, rope course, zipline, cable car, mono-rail and many others. The country will also transform its urban areas into many Smart Cities where products that provide self-service, cashless payment systems and IoT will be in great demand.

Edutainment - Kids Zone Family Fun Center

Courtesy of Dreamplay in City Of Dreams

Children's education is gaining importance with young parents. Facilities that offer education through play, create and learn are getting very popular. Aeon Fantasy Group "Kidzooona" started operation in 2014 with 5 locations, within 4 years has till date expanded to over 40 indoor playground locations across the country. The company has plans for rapid expansion to eighty (80) by 2020.

Mexican chain KidZania, known for theme parks where children can role-play as various occupations, open a city for kids at Global Fort Bonifacio with 8,000 sq. meter play space. And the latest addition in edutainment attractions is DreamPlay with 5,000 sq. meter creative play-center is located at City Of Dreams Manila.

Courtesy of Kidzooona

Amusement Arcade - Family Entertainment Center (FEC)

Courtesy of World Of Fun

Visiting and playing arcade games is one very popular activity in the Philippines as most families do not have online games or game stations at home. Millions of Filipinos visit over thousands of FECs (Family Entertainment Centers) every day with majority of them in shopping malls.


Few of the biggest stores like Timezone, World Of Fun and Tom’s World have been around for decades, and to keep customers coming back, they constantly updating their machines and games for all ages, by popularity. It has been very successful, they keep growing by adding more outlets every year in tandem with mall expansion and adding new malls. Just hop in to every shopping malls, you will see at least three to four big FECs around, in one mall.

Courtesy of Tom's World

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