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    Mexico simplifies visa issuance to Russians to boost tourism

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    Mexican President Felipe Calderon announced on Friday new measures to simplify visa issuance for Russian nationals in an urge to give a boost to the country's tourism industry.

    Mexican President Felipe Calderon announced on Friday new measures to simplify visa issuance to Russian nationals in an urge to give a boost to the country's tourism industry.

    "We have decided to simplify visa issuance procedures for Russians. They will no longer have to come to the Mexican embassy in Moscow from distant cities to obtain a visa," Calderon said at a meeting with Mexican travel industry representatives.

    "It will now be possible to do through authorized travel companies or the Internet," he said, adding that the visa applicants will have to visit the embassy's website, fill in the required documents, send them and wait for a reply via email.

    In 2009, Mexico already eased visa regulations for Russians, slashing the period of application consideration to two days from 40. Besides, Mexican authorities have since last year issued tourist visas to Russians for five or 10 years rather than for 3 months like before.

    As a result of an ease in visa regulations, Russians have started visiting Mexico more actively. In 2009 some 15,000 Russian tourists visited the country, which is 20% more than in 2008. Mexico expects 40,000 Russian tourists this year.

    In 2009 tourism brought $11.3 billion to Mexico's budget. Some 25 million foreign tourists, mainly from the United States and Canada, visit the Latin American country annually.

    MEXICO CITY, March 27 (RIA Novosti)

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