MANILA — The proprietor of a leading Russian travel and tour agency said that around 50 percent of Russian tourists who visit the Philippines become repeat clients.
In a meeting with Philippine Tourism Secretary Wanda Teo in Moscow, Russia, VAND International’s Svetlana Muromskayas pointed out that the Philippines has a “growing Russian clientele.”
“Our clients have very good opinion of the Philippines. The people, especially, are very nice. Fifty percent of Russians who go to the Philippines become repeat clients. They come back after a year or two,” Muromskaya said during a meeting with Teo.
Muromskaya has visited the Philippines 11 times.
Teo, who was part of the official entourage of Pres. Rodrigo Duterte to Moscow, welcomed this pronouncement which she said was timely as the Philippines has recently signed a tourism cooperation agreement with Russia.
The Joint Action Program of Tourism Cooperation, signed by Teo and officials of the Federal Agency of Tourism of Russia, is one of nine bilateral agreements inked by the two countries.
She described this development as a “milestone” especially since Russians were particular about safety and security.
“Russians are coming though they are very particular about safety and security in any prospective destination. The agreement signifies Moscow’s confidence in the Philippine government’s capability to resolve peace and order issues,” Teo said.
The bilateral tourism agreement states that both parties will exchange, on a regular basis, information related to ensure tourists’ safety in the territory of the country. Both countries signified to carry out continuous monitoring of any situation connected with the safety of tourists.
The Joint Action Program, a follow through of the two countries’ first agreement signed 11 years ago also in Moscow, is expected to expand tourist flow between the Philippines and Russia as both parties agree to assist each other in establishing contacts between Philippine and Russian national tourism organizations (NTOs).
Once implemented, the program is expected to boost tourism exchange in education and training and exchange of information and experts among tourist organizations of both countries.
Aside from the program, Teo also disclosed that the Russian government is exploring the possibilities of organizing a Russian language training program for Filipino tourism industry workers.
“We will continue to promote the Philippines as a must–see destination, and I am confident that tourist influx into the country will continue. The interest is there, as evidenced by international events being held in the Philippines, like the Iron Man and the Miss Universe pageant. Promoters are approaching us, asking the Philippines to host these prestigious events again,” Teo added.
According to the DOT, Russia is listed among the “high growth markets” posting 9,152 arrivals in January to February period this year, a 29.24 percent increase from last year. (PNA)