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Russia sees surge in foreign tourism — RT Business News

The foreign tourist flow to Russia soared by 130% in the first six months of the year in annual terms to over 187,000 people, statistics by the Federal Security Service (FSB) show. 

According to the report, two-thirds of foreign travelers arrived in the country between April and June. “This is 100,000+ more than in the same period last year (81,500 tourists),” the statement reads.

China tourists lead in terms of visits to Russia during the period, followed by Türkiye, Germany, Turkmenistan and Iran. The top 10 also include Kazakhstan, Poland, Kyrgyzstan, India and the United Arab Emirates.

The Russian Association of Tour Operators (ATOR) noted the figure is 16.5 times less than the tourist flow in the pre-pandemic period. Almost 2 million tourists visited Russia from January to June 2019, according to ATOR.

On Tuesday, Russia launched an electronic visa (e-visa) service, simplifying travel to Russia for citizens of 55 countries.

The visa application process will take four days and will be based on an application submitted through the electronic visa portal or mobile app. The electronic visa allows foreigners to enter Russia once and stay as a guest or business visitor, a tourist, or a participant in scientific, cultural, sociopolitical, economic, or sporting events.

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This week Russia also launched reciprocal visa-free group tours with China and Iran. Industry experts say the peak of tourist flows is expected in mid-August or early-September.

For more stories on economy & finance visit RT’s business section

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