Simplification of the visa regime for tourists from developed countries
On Tuesday, The Russian Minister of Culture Vladimir Medinsky made a statement announcing the need to simplify the process of issuing Russian visas to tourists from developed countries. To this end, it is important to abandon the “mirror-image policy” in order to develop the inbound tourism, said V. Medinsky. He also noted that in the current economic and political conditions it is possible to “jump start” the sphere of inbound tourism.
“We need to abandon the psychology of a semi-closed country because there are more advantages than possible disadvantages. We frankly lose in implementing visa entry conditions by acting with a mirror image, although we should understand that we are more interested in this than our counterparts”, – said V. Medinsky.
As noted, during the past 5 years the tourism is still the fastest growing branch of the global economy.
According to the Rosstat data, about 3 million foreigners – tourists from the USA (165 000), Germany (358 000) and China (677 000) – visited Russia with the purpose of tourism in 2015.
It is important to emphasize that in 2016, due to the low exchange rate of the ruble and the development of tourism infrastructure in Russia, we can expect further increase in the inbound tourist flow.
“In 2015, Russian inbound tourism showed positive dynamics. According to Russian border guards, it was 31.3 million of foreign tourists against 29.8 million in the previous year. The growth is small but we can see it”, – noted V. Medinsky.