Guam – Tourism Committee Chair Senator Tina Muna-Barnes is touting the success of the recent trade mission she led to Moscow to promote Guam as a tourist destination for Russian travellers.
She led a delegation from the Guam Visitors Bureau on a 10 day trip to the Moscow International Travel and Tourism Exhibition. The delegation also hosted “Guam Destination” workshops in Khabarovsk and Vladivostok.
In Moscow, the GVB delegation met with the U.S. Ambassador to Russia Michael McFaul and launched a Russian language website about Guam. And their visit was written about in the English language Moscow Times
A visa waiver for Russian tourists who want to visit Guam took effect in January. Russian arrivals surged from 11 in February of last year to 135 this past February.
In a release, Muna-Barnes is quoted as saying “The investment and economic contributions that Russian visitors are beginning to make on Guam can be directly translated to new money circulating in our economy and new job opportunities for our people.”
READ Senator Barnes’ release in FULL below:
“NEW MONEY, NEW JOBS: Senator Tina Muña Barnes RETURNS FROM SUCCESSFUL TRADE MISSION IN RUSSIA.”
At the MITT Guam Visitor Booth, Moscow, Russia
March 21, 2012
Hagåtña- April 1, 2012—Senator Tina Muña Barnes returned on Thursday from a 10-day trip to Russia with a delegation from Guam and the CNMI. The Guam delegation, led by Senator Muña Barnes, included Pilar Laguana, Nathan Denight, and Gina Kono from the Guam Visitor’s Bureau, Alfredo Bustamante and Chris Guerrero from Edge Realty, Quentin Koch from United Airlines, Artur Mladinov from Guam Voyage, Iouila Safer from Russia Guam Tours, and Ekaterina Sablan from Guam Troika Tours. The delegation attended the Moscow International Travel and Tourism (MITT) Exhibition and hosted Guam Destination workshops in Khabarovsk and Vladivostok.
With the recent inclusion of Russia in the Visa Waiver Program, the delegation encouraged travel to our island and region. The group also took part in meetings with U.S. Ambassador to Russia Michael McFaul, Doron Bard, United States Consul General, John McCaslin, Minister Counselor for Commercial Affairs, US Commercial Service- U.S. Embassy-Moscow, Russia, Russia, Ken Walsh, Commercial Attaché, US Commercial Service-U.S. Embassy-Moscow, Russia, and Margarita Babayan, Visit USA Chair. The delegation’s MITT exhibit was highlighted in a recent article in the Moscow Times and other Russian media outlets.
[L -R: Gina Kono, Marketing Officer II, Guam Visitors Bureau; Iouila Safer, Russia Guam Tours; Pilar Laguana, Marketing Manager, Guam Visitors Bureau; Senator Tina Muña Barnes; Artur Mladinov, Guam Voyage]
According to recent GVB statistics, Russian visitors stay for a longer period of time and spend more money than their Asian counterparts. In the month of February 2012 alone, Russian tourist numbers spiked to an all-time high—with visitors staying an average of 2 weeks here on Guam and typically traveling with family.
Senator Tina Muña Barnes is proud of the accomplishments of the Guam delegation’s historic visit, specifically the collaboration and establishment of a valuable relationship with the U.S. Embassy in Moscow, the U.S. Ambassador, Russian operators and the Russian media to entice people to visit our tropical paradise home.
“With the launch of the GVB Russian website and a successful trade mission trip completed, I will continue working with Governor Calvo and GVB to strengthen our marketing efforts to visitors in that region”, said Senator Barnes. “The investment and economic contributions that Russian visitors are beginning to make on Guam can be directly translated to new money circulating in our economy and new job opportunities for our people. While we are proud of these developments in Russia, we continue our efforts in support of expanding the Visa Waiver program to include China.”