Introduction of electronic visas for foreign fans and business tourists in St. Petersburg
According to the head of the St. Petersburg city committee on tourism development Andrey Mushkarev, the authorities of the northern capital intend to increase the tourist flow to the city due to the introduction of electronic visas for certain categories of foreign citizens.
“We applied to consider the possibility of granting electronic visas for two categories of foreign citizens – visitors of congress and exhibition events and fans or participants of sports events. This is the least migratory-dangerous part of tourists. And this can increase the tourist flow to the city by 30%”, – said the head of the committee.
A. Mushkarev stressed the fact that the introduction of electronic visas does not mean the simplification of the visa regime. The basic requirements, the list of the required visa documents and the amount of the visa fee will remain unchanged. However, issuing e-visas will help to improve security level since this way of providing information allows receiving data more quickly.
Proposals for the introduction of electronic visas were sent to the Russian president at the end of 2016 and to the Federation Council Chairman Valentina Matvienko in 2017; however, the city authorities do not expect a prompt resolution of this issue that requires detailed elaboration.
According to the experts, the introduction of electronic visas for foreign citizens will contribute to the increase of the inbound tourist flow and will show the openness of Russia as a strong country.