MOSCOW, April 9. /TASS/. Russia expects tourist flows from Iran to surge this year amid the FIFA World Cup in the country, chief of Russia’s Tourism Agency Oleg Safonov told TASS on Monday.
"In 2018, we expect tourism flow from Iran to increase. There is an intergovernmental agreement between our countries on visa-free tourist trips for groups," Safonov said.
The deal was signed in March 2017 during the visit of Iranian President Hassan Rouhani to Moscow, he noted. "Russians may come to Iran without visas, and we have significantly eased visa regime."
"We have high figures. Iranian tourists are actively coming to Russia," Safonov said. "We want this process to be on a bilateral basis. At this stage, these figures are very good."
The tourism flow from Iran may grow in connection with the World Cup in Russia. "We expect a significant number of both Iranian fans and Iranian tourists," Safonov said.
Russia will host its first World Cup on June 14-July 15. The matches will be held in 11 Russian cities. The Iranian team will take on Morocco in St. Petersburg on June 15. From there the winner will battle Spain in Kazan on June 20 and Portugal on June 25 in Saransk.