Russia may offer 10-day visa-free travels to event participants, guests in 2013 - Culture Ministry

The Russian Culture Ministry is drafting a law on ten-day visa-free travels of viewers and participants in business, cultural and sport events, Deputy Culture Minister Alla Manilova said on Thursday.

"The second stage of the drafting is on. Hopefully, the law will enter into force in 2013," she said.

The ministry is also drafting a bill on the 72-hour visa-free travel of transit passengers. Similar rules are in effect for passengers of cruise ships and ferries. The regime may be valid in particular regions of Russia and airports, Manilova said.

"72-hour visa-free travel of passengers of cruise ships and ferries increased tourist arrivals in St. Petersburg by almost 500,000," she said.

In addition, the ministry initiates the development of mini-hotels. "We want to spur on the development of mini-hotels. Other ministries should join the project. The culture minister will send a letter to that effect to the premier within days," she said.

The ministry keeps working on the enlargement of the number of hotels undergoing classification. It is planned to have 4,000 four-star hotels by 2020, the deputy minister said.

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