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Visa free travel to South Korea to increase flow of Russian tourists

October 25, 2013, 18:50 UTC+3
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MOSCOW, October 25 (Itar-Tass) - Visa free travel between Russia and South Korea will give a good impetus to increasing the flow of Russian tourists, who visit the country for medical reasons, said Valery Ponomarev, a member of the Federal Council Foreign Relations Committee.

On September 18, 2013 the Russian government put forth an initiative on cancelling visa formalities with South Korea. The agreement is related to Russian and South Korean citizens, who intend to make brief trips for the period of not more than 60 days.

“Visa free trips will not promote economic cooperation, which is rather dynamical. But medical tourism is very popular among Russians,” the legislator said.

“Seoul is in great demand among Russian citizens. This is a very positive step, which will facilitate interaction between Russian and South Korean businessmen,” Ponomarev said.

Director for Asia and Africa Georgy Toloraya shared the legislator’s view. He said, “Russia and South Korea seek to abolish visas.”

“South Korea ranks third among our partners. Both parties maintain active investment and economic cooperation. They want to develop strategic partnership what proves that bilateral relations will be strengthened,” he said, adding, “Visa free travel will ease tourist and economic exchanges and step up contacts between specialists in different fields.”

According to Korea Tourism Organisation, the flow of Russian tourists, who visit South Korea, increases by 5-7 percent annually. Last year 150,000 Russian travellers arrived in the republic.

Up to 300,000 South Koreans had the rest in Russia last year. Most of them visited Moscow and St Petersburg. In recent times more and more South Korean citizens have arrived in the Far East and Siberia, particularly Baikal Lake.

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