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Spanish tourism industry requests to facilitate the visa regime for Russians

01.02.2016

Spanish tourism industry requests to facilitate the visa regime for Russians

In 2015, Spain was visited by more than 68 million foreign tourists, which is a new record (+4.9 per cent compared to 2014). Following the results of the year, Russia stays the 10th largest market in terms of significance for Spain.

According to the statistics provided by Turespaña, the trips Russians made in January and booked tours for February 2016 show a slight recovery of tourist flow from the Russian Federation in relation to the January and February 2015: 6.1% and 27.3%, accordingly. "In connection with the situation in the destinations of Turkey and Egypt, we expect some rebalancing of demand to Spain", – the company "Natalie tours" informs.

The key point on which Spain can lose to visa-free destinations is biometrics. However, there are 27 visa centers of Spain in Russia, and 2016 is announced to be the year of Russian tourism in Spain, giving rise to temporary simplification of visa procedures. Such opportunity for the Spanish side was announced by the Deputy Head of the Federal Tourism Agency Sergey Korneyev during the Fitur exhibition, in his opinion, it is quite possible for Spain to issue visas for Russians in three days. Let us remind that the survey of Russian tour operators has shown that the work of visa centers of Spain in the Russian Federation is recognized as one of the best.

Spanish travel companies through the media and through official letters from the individual associations and organizations are turning to their government and Foreign Ministry requesting to provide "maximum opportunities for Russian citizens to obtain visas to Spain".

The best description of the possible growth of tourism traffic due to the visa facilitation and the issuing of long term visas gives the example of Italy. The Russian Federation conducted Cross Year of Tourism with this country in 2014. Italy attracted 1.2 million of Russians, the income amounted to 1.5 billion euros.

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