Indo-Russian Relations
Daily coverage of what makes ties between Delhi & Moscow ever-lasting — even in times of western sanctions.

Russian Capital Expects Growth in Indian Tourists With Group Visa-Free Exchange Launch

© Sputnik / Natalia Seliverstova / Go to the mediabankPeople doing selfie in Red Square, Moscow
People doing selfie in Red Square, Moscow - Sputnik India, 1920, 24.05.2024
Russia and India are seeking to launch a group visa-free tourist exchange this year.
Russia is counting on a significant boost in tourist traffic from India to the country's capital through the proposed introduction of a group visa-free exchange, Evgeny Kozlov, chairman of Moscow Tourism Committee, has told The Economic Times.
According to Kozlov, the upcoming visa-free group entry agreement currently being prepared by India and Russia "is expected to boost the influx of tourists to Moscow from India by at least 30%".
Kozlov clarified that Russia is currently exploring the possibility of issuing payment cards specifically designed for tourists.

“The issue of cashless payments for travellers in Russia is a key point for our federal government”, he noted.

He explains that the project will enable Indian travellers to open virtual cards in India and receive them physically in Russia from a partner bank.
According to Kozlov, last year over 60,000 guests from the South Asian country visited Moscow, indicating an increase of a quarter compared to the previous year.

“To support growth, we are developing the city in several directions, in particular by promoting event tourism. The capital receives many guests during seasonal festivals, so the Moscow tourism development programme until 2030 provides for the further development of cultural and entertainment tourism. According to experts, about 7.3 million guests will be attracted to Moscow by event tourism, and we expect many of them to be from India,” he said.

Kozlov pointed out that this would result in an increase in direct air traffic between the two countries.

"There are more than 10 weekly flights connecting India and Moscow, including the Russian airline Aeroflot with a direct flight from New Delhi, and we hope that this number will increase in the future. Unfortunately, Indian airlines do not operate direct flights to Moscow. We hope that in the future this situation will change", he said.

Tourists on the territory of the Taj Mahal palace in the city of Agra - Sputnik India, 1920, 16.05.2024
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