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 Post subject: Re: Abolishing the Visa requirement for Russia
Post Number:#101  PostPosted: 19 Aug 2015 21:45 
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  • Red tape is keeping away tourists which could help Russia withstand Western sanctions.
  • Over time, more visitors would serve to improve the skewed perception of Russia abroad.

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Right now, you can get almost twice as many roubles for your money as you could a year ago. This makes Russia cheaper to visit than it ever was.

However, the current onerous requirements and unnecessary bureaucracy to obtain a visa to Russia has been holding Russian tourism back for many years.

The current visa system is inconsistent, inconvenient, and puts many people off travelling to Russia. Visa registration once in-country, differs across Russia and can also prove cumbersome and problematical.

Oleg Safonov, head of Rosturism, the Russian Federal Tourism Agency agrees. He proposes to scrap the lot.

Safonov’s latest proposals, as reported on Interfax, include electronic visas, visas on arrival and simplification of the registration process. Travellers to Russia will very much welcome the moves, if implemented. Russia is a little late to the party with this; they should have done it years ago.

Russia already allows visa-free entry to citizens of some countries. But they are not the countries that significant tourism revenue is derived from. Rosturism recently announced that the number of foreign tourists coming to Russia grew in 2015 by 16.5 percent. Chinese tourists account for most of that growth to date. Russia now has an eye on increasing tourism from the rest of the world.

Readers of this site will be aware of the constant hysterical warmongering and hyperbole that Western politicians and their cohorts in the pliant mainstream media churn out day after day. One of the best ways to counter this misinformation war waged by the West is to allow people to easily visit Russia and see what it is like for themselves.

And who doesn't want a selfie on Red Square?

Only when more people begin to visit Russia will the skewed perception of Russia abroad change. Visitors will see that much of what they read and hear in their local media is patently false and concocted for purely political reasons.

Relaxing visa restrictions means easy travel, especially for Europeans who are only a budget flight away. Over time, more contact between Europeans and Russians will improve political relations. It is hard for politicians to sell us lies about places we have actually been to. Western media will then find it harder to recycle the ludicrous US State Department propaganda we see daily in our newspapers now.

If Russia is to develop the tourism industry it tells us it wants, things need to change faster. Instead of occasionally tinkering around the edges of the visa system to allow for sporting events and cruise arrivals to specified ports with a host of conditions, it is time Russia’s visa system had root and branch reform.

Tourist visas could easily be issued on arrival; fingerprints could be taken at the same time. Invitations and registration need to be scrapped altogether. They are relics of the Cold War and serve little practical purpose today. An on-line visa waiver system, similar to what the US uses would work far better. Oleg Safonov from Rosturism gets this.

If Russia is going to have wider appeal to tourists, the visa system needs urgent radical reform. It will be impossible for destinations such as Sochi and Crimea to become popular with nearby Europeans if obstacles in the form of the current visa system remain in place.

The time for Russia to act is now. The rouble is currently good value for foreigners.
Let people come and spend their money in Russia.


Article by: Stewart Smith - The Real Deal

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 Post subject: Re: Abolishing the Visa requirement for Russia
Post Number:#102  PostPosted: 19 Mar 2016 02:16 
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  • Red tape is keeping away tourists which could help Russia withstand Western sanctions.
  • Over time, more visitors would serve to improve the skewed perception of Russia abroad.

Image

Anybody who has visited Russia or has looked photos and video’s, must be impressed with this large and beautiful country.

Having visited Russia several times, so far, I feel very disappointed and in some ways very frustrated that the Russian Government is so blind and on the 21st century still has the siege mentality of the last century and the cold war. Despite the current political situation, sanctions etc, the behaviour and attitude of the western countries towards Russia and the insistence of the Russian government to be treated equally, I think financially, it works against the Russian interests and the people of Russia.

I also think that the Russian Federation has improved its immigration services and has very modern computer systems to check anybody arriving in the country. For years, all airlines are obligated to supply passengers manifests, at least, 24 hours before arriving in the country and the same applies for most of western countries too, thus minimising the terrorist threats.

In my view it’s about time that Russia abolish the visa requirement or at least introduce visa on arrival, unilaterally for most western countries and especially the members of the European Community. The current leadership of the country, during the past 2-3 years, has shown that is capable of making some tactical moves against the western governments that caught them by surprise. In this case they could also pull another rabbit out of the hat, introducing one of the above changes with the visa requirement and leave them stunned.

Today the EU has agreed with Turkey to accelerate the roadmap for the abolition of visas for Turkish citizens wishing to travel to the EU with target the end of June 2016, as long as Turkey fulfills all the necessary conditions.

I was hoping after the last experience with the football mach between Manchester and Chelsea that took place in Moscow, when 50000 fans arrived there for 3-4 days and the Sochie winter Olympics, that they would see the benefits that tourism brings to any country, but alas nothing happened and still we are back to the cold war mentality!

It’s obvious now that the security of the nation is not threatened by anyone visiting Russia because that type of business practiced by both, Russia, USA and the Western countries has moved to electronic means and the few individual incidents prove the rule.

In my view it is wrong, a criminal extortion and backwards mentality towards Russia and the Russian people, by their Government that they still require Visas, invitation letters and also registration with OVIR, by all visitors who have paid a lot of money to be allowed to visit Russia.

Just look Ukraine and check the tourist numbers and other benefits that the abolition of Visa requirements has brought to the country, before the regime change and all other troubles that continue plaguing the country.

I think the Russian Government should reconsider its position by abolishing the Visa and other requirements, as inbound tourism to Russia will expand dramatically and will bring many benefits to the country and its people.

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 Post subject: Re: Abolishing the Visa requirement for Russia
Post Number:#103  PostPosted: 27 Sep 2016 08:22 
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100% agree with the last 2 posts of Luckyspin and Wiz .

The Russian government really needs to stop being so stubborn and open their doors to win new admirers of this amazing place, not only making life easier for tourists but easier for business. There are so many possibilities for tourism of all kinds in this country and as Europe becomes increasingly overcrowded and with more restrictions on what you can do then Russia has the chance to become a main player in tourism.

Its probably safer than any main city in Europe right now and such cities as St Petersburg can compete alongside the worlds best for attractions , the price now is very attractive and a chance to see something different and experience and very unique culture .


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 Post subject: Re: Abolishing the Visa requirement for Russia
Post Number:#104  PostPosted: 28 Sep 2016 12:08 
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Crap talking edited by wiz

The Kremlin mainly reciprocate the visa policies of the corresponding nations and when you go there you'll remember that one's presence as a foreigner has to be registered and address changes notified. A far tougher 'regime' as a visitor than (say) the UK

Would dropping visa requirements help visitor numbers - YES ... esp. for sporting events - when the supporters don't care for politics.

It's long been an aim for the FORMULA 1 Grandprix promoters - but it's not happened


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