Cebu-Russian ties to be strengthened-A A +A
Thursday, June 14, 2012
THE Province of Cebu, through the initiative of Russian Federation honorary consul Armi Lopez Garcia, pledged to further strengthen the diplomatic ties between Cebu and Russia to boost tourism and trade development.
“Russia is already seeing the significance of the Philippines, especially with the efforts we are extending for this year’s upcoming Apec Summit. We will continue to bank on its improvements so both countries will further strengthen its diplomatic and economic ties,” said Garcia, at the sidelines of the Russia Day celebration held at the Movenpick Resort and Spa Cebu on Wednesday.
Garcia described that the diplomatic relationship with Russia and the Philippines have matured and that it is high time for both countries to look at strengthening each other’s trade and tourism.
She noted that Cebu is eyeing Russia as a potential market to develop, given the Russians’ nature as long-staying tourists with high-spending capabilities.
“This is the reason we will be embarking on various initiatives that would attract more Russians to come and visit the Philippines, particularly Cebu,” she said.
One of these initiatives is the establishment of the Russian language course at the University of San Carlos in partnership with the Rusky Mir Foundation.
This program, Garcia said, is being funded by the Russian Federation.
She added that aside from the language learning course, they are also looking at exchange programs to better the learning of Filipinos of the Russian language.
“It is important that both countries will understand each other, so both can benefit from one another. So if we are targeting more Russian tourists to grow our tourism market, then we need more Russian-speaking Filipinos,” she said.
Garcia noted Filipinos and Russians share common characteristics, such as a deep respect for family and religion. “A Russian heart is similar to an Asian heart,” she said.
Aside from learning the Russian language, Garcia also announced the participation of Movenpick Resort and Spa Cebu for the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (Apec) Summit 2012 to be held in Vladivostok, Russia on Sept. 2 to 9.
She said hotel personnel from Movenpick will fill in the necessary vacancies for a period of one month as part of the international immersion program of the tourism industry.
Garcia said three buildings at the Russky Island will be manned by the Movenpick hotel personnel.
She will also require a post-activity report from the participants so learning will be re-echoed to the academe.
Russian arrivals in Cebu for the first three months this year grew by 19.53 percent from 2,571 arrivals in 2011 to 3,073 in 2012.
Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on June 15, 2012.