Indian tour operators are complaining that Russian consulates in India are providing conflicting information on how to obtain visas to Russia, according to the website of the Association of Tour Operators of Russia (ATOR).
Until now, to get a Russian visa, Indian tour operators were required either to bring the original invitation or an electronic version, which was confirmed by the travel association World Without Borders. Earlier this year, the Department of Consular Affairs of the Russian Foreign Ministry sent a telegram simplifying this procedure, saying the original copy of the invitation was no longer needed, and therefore the World Without Borders stopped issuing confirmations, reports ATOR.
Despite the new simplified rules, Indian tour operators keep receiving conflicting information from Russian consulates. The Russian consulate in Mumbai still requires the original invitation, while other consulates are sending tour operators to the World Without Borders to obtain non-existent confirmation e-mails.
The Association of Tour Operators sent a request to the Russian Foreign Ministry to normalize the procedure for issuing visas to Indian tourists.
According to representatives of the Indian tourist industry, the potential flow of tourists to Russia could reach 2-3 million people annually. Russia has a lot to offer as a tourist destination for Indian travelers, such as the relatively short duration of flights, and the huge cultural, historical, and educational potential. In addition, with the weaker ruble, Russia also became attractive from the financial point of view.
Materials from the website of ATOR were used in this report.
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