PAL flying in 120 Russian tourists
MANILA, Philippines -- At least 120 tourists from Russia are set to arrive today on board a chartered flight of Philippine Airlines.
It would be the first in a series of chartered flights of the flag carrier that will run until April next year to boost tourist arrivals in the country.
“The fun in the Philippines can now be experienced by more tourists from Far East Russia. The facilitation of charter programs from this region of Russia, which is only four and a half hours away from Manila, is one of our key strategies to catalyze growth,” Tourism Secretary Ramon Jimenez Jr.
“Russia is a priority opportunity market of the Department of Tourism that is envisioned to contribute to the target of 10 million international visitors by 2016,” he said.
“The charter program is indicative of the steady interest that Russians have for our country. This may be attributed to our healthy relationships with travel trade counterparts in Russia, our consumer marketing efforts, as well as word-of-mouth marketing from the many satisfied visitors who have come back for either more or longer holiday and business trips,” he added.
DOT market development group head Verna Esmeralda Buensuceso, DOT-Ninoy Aquino International Airport head Victoria Paje, Terminal 2 manager Cecilio Bobila and the Pangkat Kawayan will welcome the group.
Most of the Russian tourists will visit Boracay.
Tourist arrivals from Russia increased by 40 percent or 28,270 in 2012. They are becoming the fastest growing market for the Philippines out of Europe.
Vladivostok and Khabarovsk were ranked second and fourth biggest sources of arrivals from Russia, posting growth rates of 37 percent and 83 percent, respectively, compared to the previous year.
For the first eight months of this year, Russian arrivals reached 21,736 or a 32.53 percent increase over the same period in 2012.