The Russian Tourism Office wants to help the industry recover from the Coronavirus crisis by simplifying visa requirements after the country reopens its borders, the RBC news website reported.
Russia has suspended international flights, except for those bringing back its nationals from abroad. Closed border crossings and the issuance of visas and e-visas were suspended last month as the country began to see an increase in Covid 19 cases. Rostourism warns that the measures will lead to “colossal losses for the economy” of at least 300 billion rubles ($4 billion) per quarter.
Russia should introduce multiple entry tourist visas valid for up to five years to make up for these losses, according to Rostourism recommendations cited by RBC. The current regulations only allow single and double entry visas, which are valid up to 30 days for tourists. The current regulations only allow single and double entry visas, which are valid for tourists for up to 30 days.
Rostourism also tries to reduce the visa processing time to three business days. Current tourist visa holders who were unable to travel to Russia due to coronavirus-related restrictions should be able to reapply for new visas free of charge, according to recommendations reported by Rostourism. In addition, the agency wants to extend the proposed electronic visas, which are scheduled to take effect Jan. 1, 2021, from 16 days to 90 to 120 days, and for this multiple entries.
Rostourism confirmed to RBC-News that it is involved in talks with the State Department and other agencies on “a large block of visa simplification issues.” It was not immediately clear whether the State Department, which drafted its own laws to ease visa requirements for tourists before the outbreak, would accept Rostourism’s recommendations. It was not immediately clear whether the State Department, which was drafting its own legislation to ease visa requirements for tourists before the outbreak, would accept Rostourism’s recommendations.
The measures could not only help to restore domestic tourism, but also increase it by up to 30 percent compared to pre-crisis levels in 2021, Rostourism chief Zarina Doguzova was quoted as saying. Tourists around the world often have stated difficulties in issuing visas as an obstacle to visiting Russia. Tourists around the world have often cited visa difficulties as an obstacle to visiting Russia.
Heiner Kubny, PolarJournal