Russia eases visa restrictions

Posted by Ed 10 mths ago

Fancy a tank ride in the snow, then a night in a Tsarist-era palace?

With ambitious plans to become one of the world’s top 10 travel destinations, Russia is offering tours off the beaten track and lifting visa restrictions to attract more visitors.

A year after it successfully hosted the World Cup, the ex-Soviet country is looking for new ways to attract international visitors with the goal of more than doubling tourism revenues to US$25 billion by 2035.

“Young people will now be able to see Russia in a way their parents could not,” says Maya Lomidze, executive director of the Association of Russian Tour Operators.

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Ed 10 mths ago
How Russia’s ‘red tourism’ is luring wealthy Chinese visitors bored with Paris and Milan
Despite freezing winter temperatures, there is plenty of warmth for Chinese tourists in places such as Moscow and St Petersburg, thanks to Russia’s ‘China Friendly’ project and low prices for luxury goods
Moscow didn’t make a great first impression on experienced Chinese tourist Maggie Xu and the two friends she was travelling with. There was confusion at the airport terminal, difficulty finding their driver, and then crippling traffic jams en route to their hotel, the city’s Ritz-Carlton.
Once they had settled in, though, the trio found themselves charmed by the sparkling lights lining the pavements of Tverskaya Street – Moscow’s Champs-Elysees. “On that cold winter night, the city had the joyful atmosphere of an amusement park,” Xu says. 

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