Russian Tourist Flow to Italy Grows 25% a Year

Adriana Smirnova, 23.12.2013 14:58
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Based on the data available on August 31, 2013, the number of Russian travelers grew 15% (782 thousand as opposed to 683 thousand in 2012). This year, Russian tourists also spent more money, their expenses rising 26% and amounting to 940 million euro.

In order to further foster the tourist flow from Russia during the year of cross-tourism between the countries, Italy intends to streamline the procedure of issuing entry visas to Russians. For instance, multiple-entry visas will be issued to frequent travelers to Italy for the period from one to five years, new visa centers will be opened (currently there are about 17 of them in Russia; centers in Irkutsk, Tomsk and Vladivostok are slated to open in 2014).

Also, some citizens will be made exempt from entry visa charges: event participants for the year of Russian tourism in Italy, journalists who write about Italy, tour operators, exchange students and teachers, participants of youth sport events, tourists younger than 12, handicapped people and those accompanying them.

In 2013, the number of visas issued by the Consulates-general of Italy in Russia is projected to be 770 thousand, which is a 22% increase compared to the previous year.

Travel companies told TRN that the demand for Italy grew this year.

“The interest in the destination has a lot to do with the Italian consulate issuing more one- and two-year visas. At the same time, there has been a rise in the number of individual travelers, many of whom buy tickets on their own and book hotels in travel companies. For those who have already been to Italy, our company has special programs: only the south or the north of the country, gastronomy and shopping tours,” said the representative of travel company Ital Travel.

The Head of the Department for Italy in DSBW Sergei Andreev added that not only has the demand for Italy rose this year, but so did the average amount of time that people spend there – now it is two weeks instead of one.

On a final note, the Italian Government Tourist Board (ENIT) will be conducting a number of B2B presentations and seminars for tour operators.
 
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