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Thursday, December 8, 2016

Foreigners will be able to enter Russia via a visa


In the state Duma received a bill that would allow foreigners to obtain an e-visa for entry into Russia. According to its developers, this measure will significantly increase the number of tourists from the most solvent States, primarily the European Union and the United States.


photo: Gennady Cherkasov

As reported yesterday, one of the authors of the initiative, the Federation Council member Igor Chernyshev, calculations, what would be the income of the state from the introduction of e-visas, yet.

The bill focuses on the data of the Federal tourism Agency. So, last year, foreigners brought in about $12 billion, and could and more. For example, the average US citizen on vacation spends about $2.6 million In this case of the 75 million American tourists in 2015 before Russia got only 233 thousand

“The proposed bill is that it is necessary to demonstrate Russia’s openness, despite the fact that around our state build various fences. We try not to put fences, but rather to show openness,” said Igor Chernyshev.

Note that the liberalisation of visa legislation has been actively discussed tourism community in March of this year. Then working in the market of inbound tourism company sent a letter to the Russian foreign Ministry with a request to consider introducing for Europeans, e-visas and free transit through Russia. According to their forecasts, these measures would increase the number of tourists by 30-40%.

Experts refer to the experience of countries that already have introduced electronic visas are India, Singapore, UAE. On arrival tourist enough on the Internet to fill in an online form, scan your passport and make online payment. “In those countries where there is an electronic visa, tourist traffic has increased in interest, and at times. The journey begins with a visa application, and that means we need to make it convenient and easy,” — said Vice-President of the Council of the world tourism organization (UNWTO) Natalia Andronova.

Recall that previous attempts to mitigate the visa formalities rested on the “principle of reciprocity” — is Russia certain concessions in the foreign policy area only in the presence of reciprocal steps from other countries. “Russia’s introduction of electronic visas allows to preserve this principle. This simply ensures tourists a simplified and technologically advanced option of the visa”, — said Andronov. According to her, the traveller just gets the opportunity to apply for a visa from any place of residence, which in itself greatly facilitates the visa process. In this electronic process does not negate the submission of fingerprints. This can be done at the airport upon arrival.

Last year, the main incentive for the incoming flow was low ruble. The Russian market offered to foreigners just “baby” prices. But in 2016 for the sustainable development of the incoming flow need more reliable mechanisms. As suggested by the Senator Chernyshev, the new bill may well be given the green light. Skeptics note that the initiative may not like the foreign Ministry, who receives income on visas.

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