MOSCOW, March 28 (Itar-Tass) —— President Medvedev has issued instructions to the Russian government to submit its proposals by June 1, 2012 with the aim to facilitate the rules of admission of foreign citizens, who arrive in Russia for purposes of tourism. The president's instructions also urge to facilitate a mechanism regulating the admission of foreign tourists, including tourists arriving on board cruise ships and yachts, says a document, which summed up the presidential instructions voiced at a conference on the developments of tourism held in Krasnodar on March 12.
Russia has all the necessary basic prerequisites to ensure a growing volume of tourism into Russia; it is a country with the biggest territory on the planet, and it has a big variety of tourist attractions that no other world country can boast of, Medvedev said at the conference. Russia is also one of the world leaders in the number of objects of environmental and cultural heritage, Medvedev declared at the Krasnodar conference.
For the time being the number of foreign tourists visiting Russia per year is a little over two million, Medvedev said. He blamed the outdated migration formalities as an obstacle impeding the development of tourism in Russia.
MP Akhmed Bilalov, Board Chairman of the Resorts of the North Caucasus joint stock company, said that the proposals to facilitate the rules of admission of foreign tourists into Russia are aimed at the achievement of a considerable growth of foreign tourism into Russia. Today, Russia remains one of the countries of the world most difficult to visit by foreign tourists because of visa requirements and migration formalities; many of them are regarded by foreign tourists as " the archaic remnants of the former Soviet Union and its isolation-oriented policy," Bilalov said.
" A tourist visiting Russia has not merely to get a visa, which is no easy at all, but also has to fill in some queer questionnaires on board a plane, which the tourist should produce somewhere else to get registered as a visitor, while countries with a huge number of visiting tourists somehow manage to do without complicated formalities," Bilalov said.
Earlier, Bilalov had lodged an inquiry with the Federal Migration Service, asking whether it was possible to facilitate the rules both of admission of foreign tourists into Russia and their presence on the Russian territory. One of the ways of dynamic settlement of the problem is a visa-free regime Russia should unilaterally establish for EU citizens, Bilalov said.