Russia plans to ease visa regulations for time 2018 FIFA World Cup

A bill has been tabled to the State Duma implying visa-free entry to Russia to foreign citizens participating in 2018 FIFA World Cup and 2017 Confederations' Cup events, the portal of the Russian Union of the Travel Industry Union reports quoting the union's Vice President Yury Barzykin.

The bill exempts foreign citizens involved in organizing and conducting the World Cup and Confederations' Cup as well as arrivals for the time of the competitions from consular and other fees related to the issue of visas, invitations etc, the report says.

In addition, certain categories of foreigners, participants in the competitions in particular, will be able to enter Russia, stay in its territory and leave it at the time of the competitions and during given months before them without obtaining a visa based on their ID and a list of FIFA representatives compiled by the Russia-2018 organizing committee.

Barzykin said that privileges are expected to be offered in travels between cities that will be hosting the matches of the World Cup. The bill contains the definition of a document certifying the right to free travel between cities in which matches of the World Cup will be held. A ticket to a game of the World Cup or Confederations' Cup will serve as such a travel document.

The bill also contains provisions on the government regulation of hotel room rates. It states that at the time of the competitions only certified hotels will be allowed to offer accommodation to the guests. Depending on the officially assigned categories the government will regulate the hotel rates.

In Barzykin's opinion, the adoption of the federal bill should have a positive impact on the development of event-related and sports tourism and increase the influx of sports fans and travelers both during the 2018 FIFA World Cup and after it.

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