Proposition to introduce e-visas for entry to Moscow, Sochi and Kazan
The Russian Union of Tourism suggested expanding the list of cities available for visiting by foreign tourists with e-visa. They propose to include in it the most popular destinations — Moscow, Sochi, Kazan. Now tourists enter St. Petersburg and Kaliningrad with e-visa.
The president of Russian Union of Tourism Andrei Ignatiev sent a letter with such proposal to the head of the Federal Agency for Tourism of the Russian Federation Zarina Doguzova on April 20, 2020.
The head of Visa Commission of the Russian Union of Tourism Sergei Voitovich noted that this would be relevant for rehabilitation of inbound tourism after revocation the restrictions in connection with the pandemic. Voitovich explained that all reservations booked by foreigners and involuntarily canceled tours were postponed to new dates without losing money.
“We understand that these will be small flows of tourists, but they will be, and this is better than nothing. And need to apply for regular visas, especially the second time, can seriously slow down the process of reviving the entry market”, he added.
According to the Russian Union of Tourism statistics, the vast majority of tourists visited Moscow and St. Petersburg in 2019. Kazan and Sochi are also popular among foreign tourists. At the end of September, Sochi should pass the Formula 1 race stage and according to forecasts, 20–25% of foreigners will be among participants and spectators.
In connection with these facts, it is proposed to expand the list of destinations for entry with e-visas. Voitovich emphasizes that this must be done no later than June 1 to stimulate the entry of foreigners into Russia after lifting the restrictions.