The Head of the Federal Tourism Agency suggested the procedure of issuing visas should be simplified
During the meeting in Simferopol, held on 16 July, the Head of the Federal Tourism Agency, Oleg Safronov, suggested to simplify the process of obtaining Russian visas for foreign tourists. In particular, the official suggested using modern technologies for processing electronic visa or visa, which is issued on arrival to the country, – said “Kommersant”.
According to the official, the visa regime liberalization would help to attract foreign tourists to Russia. Thus, addressing representatives of the authorities in the region, the largest tour operators and officials of the Federal Tourism Agency, Oleg Safronov said: “Existing problems in obtaining Russian visas adversely affect the development of incoming tourism. The point is that the additional technological capabilities of getting visas – electronic visas, getting visa at points of arrival. We believe that it is necessary to develop such high-tech methods of obtaining visas for those, who come to our country,” – agency “Russia today” quoted the official.
Among other shortcomings of the Russian tourism industry Safronov noted weak tourism infrastructure and a low level of service, as well as the high cost of shuttle service is available and the lack of tax incentives for business tourism industry.
However, the official remarked that in 2014 the growth of incoming tourist traffic to the country amounted to 16%, in particular, due to the high interest in Russia on the part of tourists from China.
Thus, according to the monitoring, conducted by experts from the Tourist Association “The World without Borders” in 2014, Chinese tourists collectively spent in Russia $1 billion, and the number of visits was 400,000.
Experts point out that due to the depreciation of the ruble and growing interest in Russia as a tourist destination, in 2015 these figures could rise.