MANILA-- More Russian tourists are expected to visit the Philippines after the successful participation of Philippine's Department of Tourism (DOT) in a travel and tourism fair in Moscow last week.
DOT and Filipino travel and tour executives joined the Moscow International Travel and Tourism Exhibition (MITT) last March 14 to 16 in line with the directive of Pres. Rodrigo Duterte's to pursue stronger Philippine-Russia relations.
MITT is one of the top travel exhibitions in the world with over 1,600 exhibitors from 182 countries and regions.
The combined efforts of DOT and travel and tour executives reportedly yielded overwhelming response among more than 3,000 delegates worldwide which gathered for business to business (B2B) meetings last week.
DOT's booth piqued the interest of thousands visitors and travel professionals as their booth highlighted the country's prime tourist's attractions namely Palawan and Boracay, and emerging destinations like Davao and Siargao.
Aside from their MITT participation, DOT also conducted a Tourism Selling Mission last March 17 in St. Petersburg, the second largest city in Russia to maximize the presence of the private sector in Russia.
Tourism Secretary Wanda Teo, in a statement, stressed the importance of strengthening relations with Russia as the Philippine's advantage.
"We have a great advantage compared to other countries because the Russians, including President Vladimir Putin, have a great respect for President Duterte and his peace and order drive, making Philippines a safe place to visit," Teo said.
Teo pointed out that Russia is seen as a highly-potential source of tourism revenue for the Philippines.
In 2015, the United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) ranked Russia as the world's sixth biggest outbound market in terms of expenditure, spending USD 35 billion abroad.
"Russians spend more than others and they stay for an average of two weeks with their families in the Philippines," Teo said.
Data from the DOT showed that more than 28,000 Russians have visited the Philippines from in 2016, an increase of 11.60 percent versus the same period in 2015.
Source: Philippines News Agency