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US consul general joins Marianas event in Russia

(MVA) — The Marianas Event 2017 on Nov. 17, 2017, in Vladivostok, Russia gathered key travel trade partners and media, as well as guests of honor of U.S. Consul General in Vladivostok Michael Keays and his wife Andrea.

Keays delivered remarks to open the promotional event, followed by Marianas Visitors Authority Managing Director Christopher A. Concepcion.

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Consul General of the U.S. in Vladivostok Michael Keays, second from right, welcomed travel trade and media partners to the Marianas Event 2017 hosted by the Marianas Visitors Authority in Vladivostok on Nov. 19, 2017.  Pictured from left are MVA trade marketing and PR executive Denis Nikolaev, MVA product development manager Tatiana Babauta, MVA Managing Director Christopher A. Concepcion, Keays’ spouse Andrea, Keays, and MVA’s Vladivostok office head manager Svetlana Vasilevskaya. Travel trade and media partners attend the Marianas Event 2017 hosted by the Marianas Visitors Authority in Vladivostok on Nov. 19, 2017.
Attendees participate in a raffle and game to test their knowledge of the destination at the  Marianas  Event  2017  hosted  by  the  Marianas  Visitors  Authority in Vladivostok on Nov. 19, 2017. Participants pose for a commemorative photo at the Marianas Event 2017 hosted by the Marianas Visitors Authority in Vladivostok on Nov. 19, 2017.  MVA photos

The event, held at a popular, modern farm-to-table restaurant in downtown Vladivostok was highlighted by presentations on air service and the destination, itself.   A representative of Jeju Air Vladivostok office shared information about the history of the airline, its services, its bonus program, and flights to the Marianas.   In September 2017 Jeju Air opened flights from Seoul-Incheon to Vladivostok. Considering the multiple daily flights available from Seoul-Incheon to Saipan, travelers from Vladivostok now have a convenient route to the Marianas at a reasonable price.

“It is why I am happy to be here tonight, knowing that this year has been rather successful for the Northern Mariana Islands.     The recent opening of new flights from Vladivostok to Seoul, and then to Saipan, by Korea’s Jeju Air has seen an increase in the number of arrivals to the Northern Mariana Islands from Russia, and specifically Vladivostok. This is very good news,” said Keays. “It is also good news that the Northern Mariana Islands, as U.S. territory, are visa free for Russians. As we start to feel the bite of the cold winter, I can think of no better time for Russian tourists to visit the islands of Saipan, Tinian and Rota. When I can find time in my busy calendar, I plan to visit them myself!”

MVA shared information about the latest hotel and tourism infrastructure developments in The Marianas, new special promo offers from local hotels for the Russian market. MVA also introduced a new incentive program for Russia travel trade to boost sales of tours.

After the presentations guests participated in “The Marianas Expert 2017” game developed by the MVA’s Russia team to educate, train and entertain the guests. Guests were divided into 10 teams named after islands of the Marianas. Teams chose to answer questions from categories such as: general facts about the Marianas, history of the Marianas, Nature & Sea of The Marianas, Hotels, travel tips, kids facilities in the Marianas, entertainment in the Marianas, transportation, and more. The winner team received specially produced prizes in the shape of latte stones presented by Consul General Keays.

A raffle was held with prizes donated by Saipan World Resort, PIC Saipan, Fiesta Resort & Spa, Mango Resort, SeaTouch and Let’s Go! Tour Company. The main prize, certificate for two tickets to Saipan, was provided by Jeju Air Vladivostok office. The event ended with a banquet featuring Marianas-inspired cocktails specially developed for the event.