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Opening to the East: U.S. Guam is visa-free for Russian Tourists, they expect 10000 visitors during 2012.

Russian tourists relaxing in warm and beautiful Guam

In March, a delegation of Guam Tourist Bureau and Marianas Visitor Authority officials led by Senator Tina Muna-Barnes, traveled to Russia to promote the Mariana Islands as a tourist destination during the Moscow International Travel and Tourism (MITT) Fair.

In a recent interview with the Marianas Variety, Muna-Barnes spoke with enthusiasm about the results of their trip to Moscow. She found a lot of interest for the Islands in Moscow due to the cold russian winter and the fact that the tropical beaches of Guam are very attractive to russians.

Already, the numbers are supporting her nethisiasm.

Guam Visitors Bureau statistics show that in January 2011, there were 104 Russian arrivals, while this year the total increased to 201. February – the first full month that Russians could travel to Guam visa-free – saw a 1127.3 percent increase, compared to the same month last year. Eleven Russians visited Guam in February 2011, compared to 135 this year.

The trend continued the following month with a 379.4 percent increase. Only 63 Russian tourists arrived in March 2011 while this year, there were 203 arrivals.

Guam Visitors Bureau GVB  also unveiled its new Russian language website and social media pages – that are key components of its aggressive marketing plans, especially for the Russian Far East.

GVB board member Mark Baldyga said for 2012, “We are expecting 3,000 to 6,000 Russian visitors. Maybe we can get to 10,000.”

However, the Japanese are still the No1 clients: near 1 million in 2011.