Russia is said to be mulling offering e-visas to Indian tourists and also launching direct flights between Moscow and Mumbai with a view to proactively attract Indian nationals to its shores.
Valery Korvokin, International Department of the Russian Federal Agency for Tourism’s Head, was quoted by the Press Trust of India as saying on 27 September that they were proposing offering e-visas to tourists from India in a bid to ease travel restrictions for those planning a visit to Russia.
Korvokin said that the e-visa proposal was being pursued with its foreign ministry. He was of the view that this scheme would get the nod in few months.
Out of the 18 million Indian tourists travelling abroad every year, it is said that close to 35,000 head to Russia. Korkovin said that they were putting in efforts to promote Russia through print and broadcast media in India. They were reportedly working with their university officials to initiate tourist friendly steps for Indians.
Russia also has plans of starting direct flights from Mumbai to St Petersburg too.
According to him, their Agency was also planning to introduce a certification/recognition course to tour operators in India, especially those concentrating on Russian tours.
Sergey Korneev, Deputy Head of the Agency, said Russian tourism authorities were also planning on introducing moves such as hiking the number of English and Hindi translators for Indian tourists, as they feel that language was dissuading many tourists from the sub-continent to travel to the world’s largest country in terms of size.
Korneev felt that since Russia was playing host to the 2018 soccer world cup, it would attract many tourists from India – a country where football craze is increasing by the day.
Indian tour operators could plan special packages for this FIFA event, he said.
Paresh Navani, the Russian Information Centre, managing partner, said that as India’s outbound tourism was outpacing China, it is being keenly eyed by tourism promoters of Russia.
He added that Russia’s lovely landscapes and cultural heritage would draw Indians.
If you want to travel to Russia, approach Y-Axis to get help and aid to file for a tourist visa from one of its 19 offices located all over India.