In an effort to attract tourism, Russia is considering extending the maximum duration of tourist visas from 30 days to six months.
Russia’s Foreign Ministry says the flexible visa rules would allow tourists from all over the world to apply for a visa with any hotel reservation.
Izvestia explains that current legislation only allows tourist visas for those who apply with an invitation letter from a tour agency listed in the government’s database.
According to the newspaper, tourists often experience problems getting visas for a visit to Russia.
The legislative changes for the relaxation of the visa rules will be submitted to the legislators in December 2020.
Yury Barzykin, vice president of the country’s travel industry union, says the relaxed visa rules will lead to a 10% to 30% increase in tourism.
In the Russian Parliament, all but one political party approved the Ministry of Foreign Affair’s proposal.
Izvestia reports that the Communist Party argued that legislators should give priority to improving the domestic tourism sector.
President Vladimir Putin has ordered to offer electronic visas to visitors from a limited set of countries by 2021.
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