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19 November, Sunday

Ufa   °

Chinese tourists flow will increase due to simplifying entry procedures - Rosturizm

Economy/Business

UFA, 25 January 2017. /Bashinform News Agency, Alim Faizov/.

This year the flow of tourists from China to Russia will increase due to simplifying visa procedures. The agreement was reached at a meeting of the head of the Federal Tourism Agency Oleg Safonov and the head of the Russian representative office of the China National Tourism Administration Zhao Hongqing, the "Izvestiya" reports.

According to the Federal Tourism Agency, China occupies a leading position in terms of tourist arrivals to our country. In the first nine months of 2016 Chinese citizens made about 1.1 million tourist trips to Russia, which is 15 percent more than for the same period of 2015. Especially popular among the Chinese people are trips via group visa-free channel, which accounts for 70 percent. Over the past five years, the visa-free tourist arrivals from China increased six-fold.

The head of the Federal Tourism Agency Oleg Safonov named the rate of growth of tourist flow as very good, but added that this was not the limit.

Further, the prospects for visa and visa-free travelers are enormous, considering that the last year, residents of China had 122 million trips abroad. And, according to colleagues from China, it is realistically to speak about 5 million Chinese tourists a year in Russia in the medium term.

According to Oleg Safonov, one of the most important tasks to be addressed in the future is to make guests from China feel comfortable to the utmost in Russia.

Another priority for the next few years is to the greatest possible extent to expand the geography of visiting Russia by Chinese. Now they are mainly limited to the two capitals. And we would like to welcome them in Siberia, and the Volga region and the Urals, and in the Russian North.

Further simplification of visa procedures can even more contribute to tourist arrivals from China. The amendments involve reduction of allowable number of group from five to three persons, prolongation of visa-free group stay up to 15 calendar days for the river cruise passengers, up to 10 days — for the participants of major international sporting, cultural and business events, and up to 72 hours — for the citizens of the PRC arriving at Russian airports in transit.

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