During a government meeting on tourism in Moscow today, Russia’s Economic Development Minister announced that Russian Federation is set to introduce visa-free travel regime for groups of tourists from China and Iran.
According to the minister, visa-free travel schemes with Iran and China can be unveiled ‘in matter of days’ and could have a potential to give a major boost the inflow of foreign tourists into Russian Federation.
“In order to quickly organize travel across Russia, we will have electronic visas from August 1, and by the same date we plan to launch the group visa-free trips with Iran and China,” the minister added.
Russia and China already had a group visa-free regime in place since the early 2000s, which allowed organized Chinese and Russian tourist groups of up to 50 people to visit either country and stay there for up to 15 days without visas. The scheme was suspended in 2021 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
According to the minister, Russia is also working to boost air travel to the country. Currently, Russia claims it has direct flights to and from more than 30 nations.
The ministry has been working with its counterparts from Russia’s Transport Ministry and Rosaviation air transport agency to introduce new destinations, namely from the Middle East, Asia, and Latin America, the minister added.