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12 May, 2020 11:24

Russian border may not open fully UNTIL 2021 – Tourism Union

Russian border may not open fully UNTIL 2021 – Tourism Union

With countries around the world beginning to loosen their anti-coronavirus measures, many people are starting to ask one thing: when can I travel again? If you’re planning to come to Russia, you might need to wait until next year.

According to a letter written by President of the Russian Tourist Industry Union (PCT) Andrey Ignatiev and President of the Russian Hotel Association (RGA) Gennady Lamshin, it might take until January 1, 2021 for passage through Russia’s border to get back to normal.

The letter, which was sent to Minister of Economic Development Maxim Reshetnikov and the head of Russia’s Federal Tourist Agency (Rostourism) Zarina Doguzova, suggested that tourism within the country should be permitted from June 1, 2020, “at least between regions with a low incidence of Covid-19.”

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Furthermore, the letter’s authors proposed that international tourism be resumed from July 1, but only accepting tourists from countries with fewer instances of coronavirus. As each country deals with its own outbreak, Russia would begin to accept tourists from more and more countries, with travel reaching pre-coronavirus levels by January 1, 2021.

Russia’s tourist industry has taken a severe hit since the beginning of the epidemic. The government suspended almost all international air travel from March 27, and the subsequent lack of inbound traffic could be devastating for the tourism sector. In April, Rostourism explained that financial losses due to Covid-19 would be at least 300 billion rubles ($4 billion) a quarter.

On May 7, Doguzova noted that tourism is one of Russia’s main economic drivers, emphasizing how a phased exit from quarantine measures would not only help the industry she represents, but many other sectors too.

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“About 60 million people travel around the country every year, leaving several trillion rubles in regional economies and creating about 2.5 million jobs,” she said.

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