Putin suggests establishing group visa-free exchanges as part of tourist cooperation between BRICS countries

Russian President Vladimir Putin has suggested introducing the practice of group visa-free exchange as part of the development of cooperation in the sphere of tourism between the BRICS countries.

Russian President Vladimir Putin has suggested introducing the practice of group visa-free exchange as part of the development of cooperation in the sphere of tourism between the BRICS countries.

"To draw foreign tourists, we should probably envisage further simplification of some visa formalities, for example, expand the practice of using group visa-free exchanges. It can be done for the entire BRICS group of countries," Putin said at the State Council presidium meeting addressing the development of the tourism industry on Aug. 17.

He recalled that this practice is now used in relations with China via the agreement on visa-free group tourist trips.

"Russian and global experience shows that liberalization of the visa regime almost always increases tourism flows," Putin said.

As an example, he mentioned the interaction between Russia and Israel in this sphere: as soon as visas were abolished, the flow of citizens from Israel to Russia more than doubled.

After a similar step was taken regarding Turkey, there was an increase of more than 40 percent, Putin said.

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