Every year Russia loses $US 6 billion because of a hard visa regime
According to the Renaissance Capital Chief Economist Charles Robertson, a number of developing countries, including Russia, lose the considerable share of tourism income due to strict visa requirements.
According to Mr. Robertson, Russia has huge potential for development of tourism industry. Russia will be able to receive additional $US 6 billion annually from foreign tourists, if it upgrades the share of this branch of economy to the Canadian level (1% of GDP), and $US 18 billion if it manages to catch up with France (1.9% of GDP).
Mr. Robertson believes that, in accordance to the degree of attractiveness for tourists, Russia should be compared with France, while a comparison with Canada rests on geographical and climatic similarities. As noted, the Russian climate does not prevent the development of the tourism industry and the attraction of foreigners into the country.
It is worth recalling that only these tough visa requirements for foreign citizens obstruct income generation in the tourism industry.
“Russia imposes a number of visa requirements. A tourist must be interviewed in person, be fingerprinted and provide a list of countries visited in the past five years”, – said Mr. Robertson.
According to the expert, the main reason for such strict requirements of Russia and some other countries is the visa policy. Officials consider the visa regime of the Western states and stress that they will simplify the rules only on principles of parity. At the same time, they definitely put politics ahead of economics.