Bulgaria is Willing to Make Free Visas For Children Up to 16 Years Old
On Monday, March 16, 2015, the Minister of Tourism of Bulgaria, Nikolina Angelkova, has several meetings with EU representatives in Brussels to discuss the question of facilitating procedure for Russians.
The representative of Ministry of Tourism of Bulgaria informed during the meeting on Intourmarket fair in Moscow that one of aspects to facilitate the visa process might be cancellation of visa fee for children up to 16 years old. Such decision is already taken by the government of Bulgaria, there is related instruction, and it only has to be discussed in Brussels.
But the main thing the Minister wants to reach is issuing visas to Russians upon arrival, although the success of that move is ambiguous, - the representative of the Ministry said. He noticed that cancellation of visa fee for children might significantly affect the tourism flow this year. – We cannot say that this year seriously less Russians will come to Bulgaria. We expect about 400 thousand people who have real estates in Bulgaria. The government is also willing to issue up to 350 thousand visas for organized groups of tourists. We also rely on children camps and on that fact that many tourists already have visas, - the Ministry’s representative said.
The general director of Bulgarian travel company DIA TOUR, Ivanka Atanasova, mentioned that in principal travel companies provide teenagers with complimentary visas, paying themselves. But she agreed that on the state level it might more influence the industry. Of course, we all want to have issuing visas upon arrival, although full withdrawal of visas is even more preferable. But I am sure that in the next few years, visas still will not be issued at the airports, - she said.
These are not the first steps of Bulgarian governance towards facilitation of visa rules for Russians. It was told in February that those who previously already got visa to Bulgaria, this year would get visas for three years. Children, coming to Bulgaria for holidays or to camps, would get visas for five years.