Possible simplification of the visa regime for the Arctic cruise ships passengers
According to the information appeared on the official website of the Federal Agency for Tourism, the agency is now considering the matter on a possible simplification of the visa regime for the Arctic cruise ships passengers in order to develop the Arctic tourism in Russia.
“The world practice shows that any simplification of visa formalities may boost the number of foreign tourists by 20–30%. The Russian experience also confirms the potential of this solution. The simplification of the visa regime for cruise ships passengers may encourage the development of the Arctic tourism in Russia”, – noted the head of the Federal Agency for Tourism Oleg Safonov.
In order to increase the inbound tourist flow in the Arctic zone, it is proposed to introduce the visa-free regime for 72-hour stay in the territory of the Russian Federation for foreign citizens – passenger of cruise ships and ferries arriving in the Russian Federation directly or transiting through international airports. In addition, the possibility of introducing the visa-free regime for up to 15-day stay is considered for river cruise ships passengers. This initiative is actively supported by the Russian ports and their associations.
Experts believe that such measures will help to increase the tourist flow to the country, as well as enhance the attractiveness of the port cities for travelers, since foreign tourists will have the opportunity not only to make stops in the Russian ports, but also to spend a few days before embarkation or after the cruise there.
In recent years there has been an upsurge of Arctic tourism in Russia. Now Russia offers the unique tourist product – cruises to the North Pole. Despite the high cost of expedition cruises, such journeys are very popular with foreign tourists, especially citizens of Germany and the United States.