Cebu City, Philippines – September 27, 2012 – On September 14, 2012, 487 Russian tourists arrived in Cebu via chartered flight from Moscow. This is the largest party of Russians to arrive in the Philippines by far, a significant development in terms of tourism and our relations with Russia. The 487 tourists came from various tour groups, but were arranged to arrive in a single day.
The Russians visited Cebu for some R&R. Most were billeted at a luxurious resort-hotel in the Mactan area. Ground handler Isagani Lukban said that “It started with a small number of tourists and then grew as word spread about Cebu. They were here to experience our beaches and our weather, based on the good feedback of previous tourists.”
Honorary Consul of the Russian Federation Armi Lopez Garcia, after meeting Mr. Lukban, said that the arrival of the tour group “is a favorable sign and proof that our efforts to promote tourism in Russia are effective”. She hopes that our tourism and hospitality industry can cope with succeeding large party arrivals. “It is important that we increase our competence level in dealing with Russian tourists. While the Philippines is gaining momentum as one of the tourism destinations for the newly affluent Russian population, we are also at a critical time where the first impressions of the tourists matter a lot. We have to work hard to be able to serve their needs, especially of this initial influx of tourists. I am very happy about the efforts of the Department of Tourism in adding gestures of warmth and hospitality. These little things add up to a lot.”
After our successful assistance of the APEC Summit in Vladivostok, the Philippines has established more goodwill with Russians in that area and is expecting more tourists arriving from the Primorsky Region, which is the Far Eastern Region of Russia.