Russia keen on tapping Indian outbound tourists after relaxation of rules


With Russia lifting restrictions on air travel from India, the country appears to be keen on tapping the Indian outbound tourism market, which has been significantly impacted by the Covid-19 pandemic.

Paresh Navani, Director of the Mumbai-based Russian Information Centre, said that the drop in Covid-19 cases both in Russia as well as in India bodes well for tourism-related travel to both the countries.

“There is also a good level of interest from Indian and Russian travel companies vis a vis our respective destinations,” Navani said.

“With the number of Covid cases dropping in India and Russia and vaccines now readily available, it spells good news for business and tourism travel between India and Russia,” Navani said.

Founded in Goa, the Russian Information Centre, which now operates out of Mumbai, promotes India-Russia relations in the areas of culture and tourism.

On January 25, the Russian government had announced the lifting of travel restrictions for its citizens and residence permit holders in India, Finland, Qatar and Vietnam. Air travel between the two countries is expected to be facilitated first between Moscow and New Delhi.

Despite the turmoil in the Russian travel sector, where some leading charter companies went bust, Goa has traditionally accounted for the bulk of the Russian tourist footfalls to India. In 2019, nearly one lakh Indian tourists travelled to Russia, according to the Russian Information Centre.

As per the current Covid-19 protocol in Russia, inbound travellers must carry with them an RT-PCR negative test report conducted 72 hours prior to arrival.

According to Nilesh Shah, President of the Travel and Tourism Association of Goa, the opening up of air travel between the two countries is a “good sign”, but added that both governments should look to expand the dialogue related to travel to the two destinations.

“The opening up of the sector is good news. The Indian government should now start issuing tourist visas. It is a good time to start dialogue about expanding the scope for travel to facilitate tourist flow,” Shah said.

Shah also said that the current charter tourism season in Goa has already been washed out on account of the pandemic and that the tourism industry stakeholders should take the opportunity presented by the lifting of air travel restrictions to build on attracting tourists, especially via chartered flights, for the 2020-21 tourism season.

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Arushi Sana is the Founder of Santerra Living and Co-Founder of NYK Daily. She was awarded the Times Power Women of the Year 2022 and Times Digital Entrepreneur of the Year 2023. Arushi is also a Sustainability Consultant for organisations looking to reduce their carbon footprint and also works with brands on social media to help them carve a presence in that niche. She holds a Degree in Computer Science Engineering from VIT University and a Diploma in Marketing Analytics from IIM Nagpur. Her interest in Sustainable Living and Interior Design led her to start a Sustainable e-Marketplace where customers can buy eco-furniture and eco-friendly products for everyday use. Arushi is a writer, political researcher, a social worker, a farmer and a singer with an interest in languages. Travel and nature are the biggest spiritual getaways for her, and she aims to develop a global community of knowledge and journalism par excellence through this News Platform.

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