Russian Tourism to roll out Travel Academy program to educate the Indian travel trade

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Russian Tourism will roll out their Travel Academy program for Indian travel trade soon. The aim of this Travel Academy program is to educate the Indian travel trade about the myriad destinations and attractions beyond the key gateways of Moscow and Saint-Petersburg,

Along with the Federal Tourism Agency, different regional tourism boards will also strengthen their engagement with the travel trade in India to educate them about the varied attractions and experiences the respective regions can deliver to tourists in the coming years.

Informing this during a ‘Russia 2020 – Euro As a Gift’ event organized by Russian Embassy in Delhi, Alexander F Gorokhov, CEO, SONATO (Association Union of National & International Tourist Information Organisations) VisitRussia, said that they will also organize FAM Trips for both the Indian travel trade and the Media to strengthen and improve the engagement.

Gorokhov said that the newly launched e-Visa regime by Russia for four destinations is “unprecedented” in the sense that it is not only easy to get a Russian visa but free of cost as well. While it was piloted with two places (Far Eastern Russia and Kaliningrad region) in July, the government has extended it to two more places (Saint-Petersburg and Leningrad) from October this year.

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“We see an opportunity to double the Indian visitor numbers from the current 70,000 in the next one year because of the e-Visa system,” he said. Currently, Russia gets only 0.3% of the total Indian international travel. Gorokhov said that they intend to grow at least 1% in the next couple of years.

Gorokhov said that the e-Visa system in all probability will be ultimately extended to all regions of the Russian Federation by early 2021. “We want Indian travelers to explore beyond Moscow, Saint-Petersburg, and Leningrad. There are more experiential things to do in Russia,” he said.

Russian Tourism is also keen to promote the Euro Cup 2020 (UEFA) and invite Indians to visit Saint-Petersburg, one of the 12 European cities, where matches will be played between June and July 2020.

The city will play host to four league stage matches and one-quarter final match. The fans can avail unique FAN ID online to visit Russia during the Euro Cup. Russia had successfully tested the FAN ID system during the Winter Olympics and Soccer World Cup. “Our request to implement FAN ID has been accepted by UEFA,” said an official.

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There were presentations on popular Russian Travel itineraries at the event. These included the Golden Ring, the Silver Necklace, The Great Volga route, Traditional Russia, The Far East Ring, etc.

While the direct connectivity between Russia and India is currently limited to Delhi – Moscow operated by national carrier Aeroflot, the agencies like SONATA is pinning hopes on the proposed two new connections announced by Aeroflot between Mumbai – Saint-Petersburg and Mumbai – Ekaterinburg, the capital of Ural next year.

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