The introduction of fingerprinting for foreigners may undermine the inbound tourist flow
According to the First Deputy Minister of the Ministry of Internal Affairs of the Russian Federation Alexander Gorovoy, starting from 2017 it is proposed to introduce a mandatory fingerprinting procedure for all foreigners entering Russia.
“From the beginning of the next year, the Ministry of Internal Affairs has initiated to conduct a fingerprinting procedure for all foreign nationals arriving to the territory of the Russian Federation”, – said Gorovoy.
However, this mandatory fingerprinting required for foreigners may have adverse effects on the inbound tourist flow but, according to the Association of Tour Operators of Russia (ATOR), this impact will not be significant.
Deputy Chief Executive Officer of the tour operator “Academservice” Alexander Kurnosov cited an example of Great Britain and the United States – one of the first countries to introduce fingerprinting procedure. According to him, there was a slight decrease in tourist flow in these countries first, but then the flow was restored again.
The influence fingerprinting has on tourist business will depend on its procedure. For example, if foreigners are required to be fingerprinted while getting a visa, they will not be able to submit the documents remotely. Besides, Russia has a visa-free regime with a number of countries, thus, tourists from these countries will not be able to undergo the procedure in advance and will have to spend more time to pass through customs control and passport check-point due to the required fingerprinting.