Additional information will be required to obtain a visa to Russia
According to the information on the website of the Association of Tour Operators of Russia, starting from January 26, foreign nationals will have to indicate their supposed travel route in the consulate questionnaire to obtain a Russian visa. When applying, it will be required to specify the settlements which the traveler plans to visit on the territory of the country. The new form of the questionnaire was approved by the Federal Migration Service of the Russian Federation. In addition, it will be necessary to provide the address of the migration registration and information about the host and inviting sides.
This rule will become compulsory for all foreign nationals regardless of the category and type of visa requested.
While commenting on the news to “Rossiyskaya Gazeta”, the ATOR Vice-President Vladimir Kantorovich noted that: “On the one hand, the presenting of such information is not a problem. As a rule, tourists entering the country know exactly what places they plan to visit. On the other hand, it can negatively influence the flow of incoming independent foreign travelers.”
The experts evaluated the innovation of FMS in different ways. So, the ATOR experts believe that the new rules could badly affect the flow of tourists into the country as any measures leading to the complication of the procedure of obtaining a Russian visa, have a negative impact on the attitude of foreign citizens toward travel to Russia.
At the same time, experts of UTS Travel and “Luna-Tour” suppose that this innovation won’t bring significant difficulties as even before it was necessary to enter a number of similar information.
According to ATOR data, the number of foreign tourists from Europe usually makes about 60%, while in 2014 their number fell by 20% – 30%. The number of tourists from the United States of America for 9 months of 2014 has also decreased by 17%.