SKOPJE, May 25 (Itar-Tass) - Albania unilaterally abolishes entry visas for Russian in the high season from May 25 to September 25, according to the resolution of the republic’s council of ministers.
Albania has been practicing visa abolishing for the summer period since 2009. Opening its border to Russians, Tirana apparently seeks to encourage foreign tourist inflow.
The Russian Foreign Ministry confirmed information about Albania’s lifting of the visa regime for Russians. According to the ministry’s spokesman, Alexander Lukashevich, “the rules will be applicable to Russian citizens holders of foreign passports who make trips, either tourist or private, to Albania for a period of up to 90 days.”
Generally, Albania is seen as a promising vacationing destination, but the majority of Russians know next to nothing about this country. However, the practice of visa abolishment in the summer period is yielding visible results. Thus, the number of Russian tourists visiting Albania has considerably grown since 2009. In 2012, about 12,000 Russians visited that country.
According to European experts, Albania’s potential for tourism is still practically unused but there are good chances to improve the situation in the years to come. All the same, travel operators present in that country say that the tourist flow from Russia is hampered not by visa formalities but because of the lack of direct air service, poor hotel accommodations and inferior services.