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Wed, 03/22/2023 - 14:49
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Tour operators draft request on outlook for visa-free group travel between Russia, China

MOSCOW, March 21. /TASS/. The Association of Tour Operators of Russia (ATOR) has drafted a request to be submitted to the Russian Economic Development and Foreign Affairs ministries and the city of Moscow’s tourism committee concerning the prospects for and dates of resumption of visa-free group travel between Russia and China, according to a statement published on Tuesday.

"The Association of Tour Operators has drafted a request to the Economic Development Ministry, the Russian Foreign Ministry and Moscow’s tourism committee on the prospects for and dates of resumption of group trips by Chinese and Russian tourists in accordance with the visa-free group lists provided by tour operators," the statement reads.

Russia issues tourist visas to Chinese travelers, although they are rather expensive. Russia has long resumed implementation of the agreement on mutual entry of tourist groups according to tour operators’ lists, although the process was halted at the approval stage for certain technical issues, including the endorsement of tour operators’ lists by the two sides. No information has been provided as to when the agreement will realistically start functioning, ATOR noted.

China is currently the most promising market for inbound tourism to Russia, ATOR stressed, adding that citizens of other countries will not travel to the country for various reasons, from the lack of flights to the lack of options for paying for purchases with Visa and Mastercard cards issued by foreign banks, as well as the political situation.

Regarding inbound tourism from Russia to China, clamorous demand for visas to China is now being seen, with the next available application slot at the end of April 2023. Business travelers make up the absolute majority of visa applicants, while the sightseeing tourist flow to China has not yet resumed, the association said.



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