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Sakhalin authorities propose visa-free exchange between island and China’s province

December 23, 2015, 15:14 UTC+3 YUZHNO-SAKHALINSK
According to the local authorities, this would increase the number of tourists visiting the area and the Kuril Islands
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Public square in Dandong in northeastern China's Liaoning province

Public square in Dandong in northeastern China's Liaoning province

© AP Photo/Ng Han Guan

YUZHNO-SAKHALINSK, December 23. /TASS/. Russia’s Sakhalin region governor wants visa-free exchange between the Far East maritime territory and China’s Liaoning province, his office reported on Wednesday.

This would increase the number of tourists visiting the area and the Kuril Islands, said Oleg Kozhemyako.

"Tourist benefits currently existing are poorly used. We have wonderful wildlife with excellent fishing and hunting opportunities as well as balneo-therapeutic resorts. We want foreign tourists to appreciate our advantages," he said.

Sakhalin authorities plan to sign an agreement with the Chinese province foreseeing visa-free exchange. This will reflect the experience of Russia’s Primorye [Maritime] territory and Amur region, where such exchanges have been in place for several years.

"We need to prepare an initial package of proposals for Chinese tourists to define clearly the visit itinerary and agenda, the cost of tickets, hotels and meals," Kozhemyako said.

Regional authorities would have to solve a number of problems to increase tourist attractiveness, he said. This would increase flight frequency and assemble a package of services.

Partnership would encourage business ties and attract Chinese investors, the official added. Prospects would embrace tourism, timber processing, construction, development of resort infrastructure and ship repair.

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