16:15 GMT18 April 2021
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    Easing the visa requirements for foreigners visiting the northern Russian cities of Murmansk and Arkhangelsk could add significantly to boosting tourism in the country's Arctic Region, media reports said.

    The Russian Culture Ministry has reportedly called for a relaxation of visa requirements for foreigners visiting the northern Russian cities of Murmansk and Arkhangelsk, something that could contribute to developing tourism in the country's Arctic Region.

    The ministry was echoed by Sergey Korneyev, deputy head of the Russian Federal Agency for Tourism, who pointed to European and Asian tourists' ever-increasing interest in visiting the Arctic's places of interest along the Norwegian coast.

    "It is now one of the most popular exotic tourist destinations in the world, and people are eager to go there to see the northern lights and look at Arctic nature," he said.

    According to the Russian newspaper Izvestia, the Russian Ministry of Culture is already actively promoting tours to northwestern Russia.

    Tour operators working in the domestic market have, meanwhile, proposed package offers  related to travel routes as part of the Silver Necklace of Russia project, which includes 11 regions in the country's north.

    Former Culture Minister of the Russian Republic of Karelia Elena Bogdanova said, for her part, that European travel agencies cooperating with their Russian colleagues have repeatedly tried to achieve similar relaxed visa requirements.

    "This will help us to attract more foreign tourists, mainly from the Scandinavian countries, including Finland. Currently, the flow of foreign tourists in Russia's northwestern region shows no sign of abating. It would certainly be increased significantly if a three-day visa-free regime was introduced in Karelia," she concluded.


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