The number of Iranians traveling to Russia in the first half of 2017 increased by 9% compared with the corresponding period of a year ago, the head of Russia’s Federal Agency for Tourism—Rosotourism—announced.
Rostourism CEO Oleg Safonov was also quoted as saying by TASS on Wednesday that the demand for trips to Russia had been growing all over the world.
In the first six months of 2017, Chinese tourists made 32% more trips to Russia compared to the same period of 2016.
The number of trips made by Japanese tourists grew by 14%, while Iranian tourists made 9% more trips.
Russia’s tourism industry is benefiting from relaxed visa rules with many countries, including Iran, according to Alexander Kurnosov, vice president of the Association of Tour Operators of Russia.
“Undoubtedly, the tourism industry welcomes this move because we have been asking the government for a long time to ease visa restrictions,” he said.
“The reason is that the easing of visa rules will significantly increase tourist inflow to Russia, as well as the country’s foreign currency revenue, because tourism is a thing to export. We receive foreign currency that way,” he added.
Iran and Russia waived visa requirements for tours of up to 50 people earlier this year and are expected to completely abolish the visa regime by 2018.