Furthering their efforts to grow and diversify Guam’s tourism base, the Guam Visitors Bureau (GVB) recently launched the island’s first Russia consumer promotion in Vladivostok during the city’s annual City Day holiday. “We were privileged to have taken part in Vladivostok’s 152nd anniversary. City Day is one of the city’s important and festive holidays and it commemorates the day Vladivostok was founded,” said GVB General Manager Joann Camacho, “As Russia is a new market for Guam, our participation assists us in raising awareness of Guam and what we have to offer Russian visitors.”
Residents flocked to the celebration held at Naberezhnaya Park, Vladivostok’s primary recreational city park, where they were treated to a Guam Chamorro cultural presentation and had the opportunity to learn local island dances and take photographs with Guam performers. The park and other infrastructure in the city is currently undergoing renovations and improvements in preparation to host the 24th Summit of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) in September 2012.
“GVB’s New Market Development Committee, which is chaired by GVB Board Member Bruce Kloppenburg, has been ramping up marketing efforts as a result of the recent visa waiver announcement for Russia that took effect January 15, 2012. Since January, Guam has received 1,315 visitors from Russia, predominantly from the Far Eastern region, and we were very excited to have implemented our inaugural consumer event during Vladivostok’s City Day,” said GVB Marketing Manager Pilar Laguaña. Russian visitor arrivals to Guam between January 1 and June 8, 2012 are up 352 percent compared to the same period in 2011.
The bureau’s participation in the City Day celebration was organized by the Vladivostok US Consul General’s office and Vladivostok’s city government office. GVB’s Russia marketing plans include hiring the services of a full-time marketing representative in Russia to promote and market Guam in a sustained effort to make the island an important destination in the Russian leisure travel market.