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Russia may simplify the visa regime to attract foreign tourists

Russia may simplify the visa regime to attract foreign tourists

The Chairman of the Public Council under the Federal Tourism Agency Sergey Markov proposed to simplify the visa regime for foreign tourists coming to Russia. According to Markov, such a measure will help to raise significant financial investments in the country's budget – reports the agency “Russia Today”.

“We have to move to the format of visa issued on the aircraft or railway border for a period of 10 days but once a year. We won’t have to do a great deal, but it will allow getting tens of billions of dollars or euros”, said the expert.

Measures on visa regime’s simplification and optimization of the country's tourism opportunities were called by Markov as “counter-sanctions” of Russia against the West.

The Chairman stated that Russia should not expect the West to take the initiative in this direction, but it should switch to a more selfish policy regarding the visa regime. “We are just encouraged to such actions. By its sanctions, the Western partners provide excellent opportunities for Russia”, said Sergey Markov.

This proposal is supported by the head of the Federal Tourism Agency Oleg Safonov. He recalled that there have been examples in the international practice when visa regime’s simplification or the abolition of visas resulted in the significant increase in the tourist flow to the country. “There is a certain principle of reciprocity when some indulgences of visa regime are produced based on the positions of the two countries. And the idea of Sergey Markov is that Russia must act according to its own interests creating the best opportunities for travelers from abroad. I really like this idea”, explained Oleg Safonov. He also stressed that in this case there is a question of competitiveness of Russia in the tourist market as any indulgence taken by other countries, is a blow to tourism opportunities of the Russian Federation.

Monday, February 9, 2015