Cancellation of visas for foreigners will increase the tourist flow to Russia tenfold
The abolition of visas for foreign citizens, as well as the solution of the issue with the use of bank cards in Russia, will significantly increase the inbound tourist flow, said Alexan Mkrtchyan, vice president of Alliance of Travel Agencies.
"We are in favor of the complete abolition of visas for foreigners, as it is done in Belarus. They canceled visas for 5 days, and then completely abolished them," he said at a press conference.
According to Mkrtchyan, the introduction of a visa-free regime for foreigners will increase the inbound tourist flow and increase not by 2-3 times, but by dozens of times.
As per Dmitry Arutyunov, general director of the tour operator Art-Tour, tourists from China and Iran are currently actively visiting Russia. First of all, families with children come here.
The tourist flow from China is not as large as before the pandemic, because during the anti-COVID restrictions, domestic tourism has been actively developing in the country and now many citizens of the country prefer to travel within the country.
At the end of June, the State Duma adopted a law that allows Russian banks to open accounts for foreigners and issue cards upon entering Russia. So, foreign tourists can pay for services and goods by cards on the territory of the country. According to the Ministry of Economic Development, foreign tourists will have such an opportunity before the end of the year.