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More French, Russian tourists eyed

Thursday, July 31, 2008 [ manilatimes.net ]

The Department of Tourism has called on travel-related establishments and businesses such as hotels, resorts, tour operators, and transport services to promote the country’s adventure tourism destinations, as the department is eyeing participation in three major travel events in France and Russia in September.

“Europe is one of our growth areas. While we maintain strong presence in several countries such as the United Kingdom, Germany and France, we are seeing an overwhelming increase in Russian arrivals [to the country],” Tourism Secretary Ace Durano said.

The Tourism department announced that from September 16 to 19, the country would take part in the annual TopResa International Travel Market in France. The event, which celebrates its 30th anniversary this year, is considered the leading business-to-business venue for the French tourism industry with the rest of the world. It will be held for the first time in Paris.

The Tourism department said it has reserved a 63-square-meter space in the event where it can showcase the country’s latest adventure and eco-tourism activities to over 20,000 travel wholesalers and industry decision-makers expected to attend.

“What makes this year’s participation exciting is the awareness gained through the latest season of the Koh Lanta reality TV show, which was shot entirely in Caramoan, Camarines Sur,” Tourism Undersecretary for Planning and Promotions Eduardo Jarque Jr. said.

Closely following TopResa is the department’s first-ever selling mission to St. Petersburg, Russia, from September 19 to 21.

The Tourism department said it has invited over 70 leading tour operators based in the Russian city to participate and meet with their Filipino counterparts. It also plans to update the attendees on the latest trends in Philippine tourism, and promote the islands through a special press conference with the Russian media.

The promotional activity will help expand the country’s reach into the Russian market.

After the St. Petersburg event is the Otdykh Leisure Moscow and Luxury Leisure Fairs at the Crocus Expo in Moscow scheduled from September 23 to 26.

According to Tourism officials, these are Russia’s premier venues for travelers planning their winter holidays and trade players in search of new packages.

Arrivals from Europe in May grew by 15 percent as compared to figures in the same month in 2007. Tourist traffic from France showed a 28.3-percent increase, while Russian arrivals posted a 70.5-percent increase. -- Rommel C. Lontayao

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