Inetnon Gef Pa’go, an award-winning Guam cultural dance group, was recently showcased on the Russian national television program “Tsentre Uninmania” (“The Center of Attention”). The appearance was made possible through a partnership with the US Consulate office in Vladivostok and the Guam Visitors Bureau (GVB).
Members of Inetnon Gef Pa’go discussed Chamorro (the indigenous people of Guam and the Mariana Islands) culture and dance history, and performed signature Chamorro dances that delivered a sense of place for the island paradise and captured the attention of the Russian community. Inetnon Gef Pa’go aims to promote awareness and pride in Chamorro heritage through community presentations and cultural exchange.
“GVB works tirelessly to showcase who we are as a people,” said GVB General Manager Joann Camacho, “Being recognized on Russian national television for our Hafa Adai spirit and Chamorro culture is a major honor, and we congratulate Inetnon Gef Pa’go for their work and efforts in making Guam a world-class cultural destination of choice.”
Vladivistok US Consul General Sylvia Curran also appeared on the show and discussed Guam’s new visa-free status. On January 15, 2012, visitors from Russia became eligible to travel to Guam without a visa requirement, and since then, GVB has been aggressively campaigning in Russia in an effort to grow and diversify Guam’s tourism base. Consul General Sylvia Curran described Guam as a US Territory, conveniently located near Vladivostok, and encouraged television viewers to spend their holidays in Guam.
Since January, Guam has received 1,315 visitors from Russia, predominantly from the Far Eastern region. Russian visitor arrivals to Guam between January 1 and June 8, 2012 are up 352 percent compared to the same period in 2011.