Russiatourism proposes to reduce the cost of Russian visas
As noted the head of the Federal Agency for Tourism Oleg Safonov speaking at the conference “Tourism in Russia: investment in the future”, Russiatourism proposes to significantly reduce the cost of Russian visas or make them free in order to increase the tourist flow to the country.
According to the head of the Agency, Russia actively competes with other countries for tourists. For many tourists planning a trip the choice of a country mainly depends on the availability of visas, that’s why the need to simplify visa procedures for entry into the Russian Federation becomes evident. “We must do everything so that tourists chose our country and visit it”, – O. Safonov said.
“The Federal Agency for Tourism supposes that it is essential to work on the simplification of visa, customs and border procedures, as well as to develop the border crossing points so that people who want to visit our country could do it”, – the head of the Agency reported at the conference “Tourism in Russia: investment in the future”.
The conference also touched upon the issue of visa-free travels. According to the experts, the abolition of visas for some destinations can increase the inbound tourist flow by 50%. The effectiveness of such a measure can be proved by the example of tourists from China: during the week of celebrating the Chinese New Year (from January 27 to February 2, 2017) St. Petersburg and Moscow were visited on a visa-free group tourist exchange by almost 4000 tourists from China, which is almost 50% more than last year. Besides, due to the visa-free entry, the passenger traffic between Russia and Korea increased by 5 times for the last few years.
Despite the apparent effectiveness of the introduction of the visa-free travel regime, Russiatourism is not ready to abolish visas. “We must understand that there is the growing terrorist threat in the world. It would be good to abolish visas, but it is a utopia. We need to do other things, we need to simplify visa procedures, and in this respect we are now very actively cooperating with our colleagues from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs”, – Oleg Safonov concluded.