20 Nov 2023 18:50

Russia forecasts 50% increase of tourist flow from EU countries in 2023

MOSCOW. Nov 20 (Interfax) - Citizens of EU countries are still interested in visiting Russia, and the tourist flow is expected to grow by 50% in 2023, the Russian Foreign Ministry's consular department said on Monday.

"Citizens of EU countries are still interested in visiting Russia, the number of such tourists visiting our country is forecast to grow by more than 50% in 2023 from last year," the department said on its Telegram channel.

The closure of Russian visa centers in France will not keep the country's citizens from getting visas for Russia, the Foreign Ministry said. The ministry said earlier Russian visa centers in Paris, Nice, and Strasbourg would stop working from November 24.

"Visa centers were initially opened as 'assistants' for diplomatic missions and consular establishments in those countries and cities where the number of those who want to receive Russian visas considerably exceeded the staff and technical capabilities of the missions abroad to promptly process visa requests, which led to waiting lines in embassies and consulates, which lasted for many days and sometimes months," the ministry said.

"The current volumes of visa work in some EU member states make it possible for the consulates to accept visa applications directly, without using the assistance of visa centers. Moreover, the work of the latter is becoming unprofitable. Thus, I would like to emphasize that the closure of the visa centers in France will have no reflection on the possibilities of everyone who wants to promptly receive visas to visit Russia," it said.

Foreign citizens are more and more actively using the opportunity to get electronic visas for Russia without visiting consulates and visa centers, the ministry said.