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Russia, Austria mark bilateral year of tourism

January 13, 8:44 UTC+3 VIENNA

Each Austrian tourist will be granted a two-entry Russian visa valid for six months

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Tourists in Moscow

Tourists in Moscow

© Sergei Shakhidzhanyan/TASS

VIENNA, January 12. /TASS/. Each Austrian tourist will from now on be granted a two-entry Russian visa valid for six months, Russian Ambassador to Austria Dmitry Lyubinsky said at a press conference dedicated to the opening ceremony of the Russian-Austrian year of tourism.

"We would like to bring more Austrian tourists not only to Moscow and St. Petersburg but to show them the beauty of our large country. The first thing that we did in order to achieve this goal was easing visa restrictions," the ambassador said. "We seek to encourage Austrian tourists to visit Russia’s Far East, Lake Baikal and other regions," Lyubinsky added.

According to the Russian diplomat, bilateral year of tourism has already begun to produce results. "During the holiday season, I visited Salzburg, Innsbruck and some resorts, and I must say that I have never seen this many Russian tourists before," the ambassador noted.

On Thursday, the Ferienmesse Wien tourist exhibition opened in Austria’s capital which is one of the biggest international events of this kind. The exhibition will run until January 15. The opening ceremony of the Russian-Austrian year of tourism was held on the first day of the exhibition in order to present the tourist potential of Russia and Austria in the best possible way.

While speaking at the press conference dedicated to the opening ceremony, Secretary-General of the United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) Taleb Rifai said that the Russian-Austrian year of tourism provided a perfect opportunity to improve cooperation between the two countries’ peoples. Rifai added that tourism was a good way to minimize many problems emerging out of lack of tolerance and mutual understanding. As for Russian tourists, he said that "Russians are very loyal visitors. If they like a place, they come again and again, which is a characteristic not very common in others. Some other visitors in the world like to change destinations every year. Russians like a place and then they come again and again.".

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