US imposes new sanctions on Syria over suspected chemical attackWorld April 24, 21:23
Russian businessman plans to build sailplane to fly around the globe nonstop in 5 daysScience & Space April 24, 19:50
Roscosmos excludes three cosmonauts from space teamScience & Space April 24, 19:34
Russian Foreign Ministry: Terrorists in Syria may get chemical weapons from Libya, IraqRussian Politics & Diplomacy April 24, 19:05
US not ready yet to restart arms control dialog, Russian diplomat saysRussian Politics & Diplomacy April 24, 18:57
Court recognizes Russia’s Sports Ministry as affected party in WADA whistleblower caseSport April 24, 18:48
Elephant, giraffe and wildcats found among Muscovites’ house petsSociety & Culture April 24, 17:48
Putin calls for setting apart real anti-corruption crusaders from political show-offsRussian Politics & Diplomacy April 24, 16:34
Moscow court turns down Jehovah’s Witnesses bid to fight Justice Ministry’s banWorld April 24, 16:08
MOSCOW. April 11 (Itar-Tass) – Spain expects Russian tourist arrivals to grow by 20-25% in 2012, according to the Association of Tour Operators of Russia (ATOR).
“The majority of Russian tourists prefer to spend their vacations in Catalonia, the Canary Islands (Tenerife) and the Balearic Islands, but Spain wishes to broaden the geography of tours from Russia. It is planned to launch pilot programs in Almeria, Grand Canaria and Menorca this year. There will be direct flights to Palma-de-Majorca and Valencia, as well,” the Association said.
According to the Spanish Institute for Tourism Research, 918,573 Russian tourists chose Spain last year, which was 44.6% more than the year before. Most of the tourists spent their holidays on the beach, while others went on sightseeing tours. The cost of services provided to the tourists last year exceeded 1.5 billion euros.
The majority of Russian tourist arrivals of last year were organized by tour operators, tourism counselor at the Spanish embassy in Moscow Felix de Paz Garcia-Dias said. Nevertheless, the number of individual tourists grows year to year.
He explained that with a loyal visa policy of the Spanish consulate, which issues entry visas without delay or additional requirements. The number of Spanish entry visas issued to Russian citizens grew by 50% to 700,000 last year, he said.
The positive dynamics remains in 2012. In January-February alone the number of issued visas grew by 40% year to year.
In the words of the tourism counselor, Spain stands for EU-Russia visa-free travel. If the Russians did not have to seek entry visas, Spain could have up to 2 million tourist arrivals from Russia per year, he said.