In the city of Moscow, where history and modernity intertwine, a quiet revolution is underway. The Russian capital is inviting travellers from far and wide to experience its rich cultural heritage. At the forefront of this transformation is the Moscow City Tourism Committee, which is orchestrating a symphony of initiatives to make Moscow a must-visit destination once more. One of the most innovative moves on this journey is the creation of a virtual ‘Foreign Tourist Card,’ poised to revolutionise the way travellers explore and pay for services in this iconic city.
Moscow Introduces A Virtual Foreign Tourist Card
In this unfolding tale of reinvention, Moscow is set to captivate the hearts of global adventurers. The city will now offer a blend of tradition and innovation like never before. During the COVID-19 pandemic, tourist arrivals in Moscow significantly declined. However, there is a gradual increase in the number of Indian tourists visiting Moscow. This is partly because of tourist-friendly measures like e-visas, and this trend is expected to continue growing.
According to reports from PTI via Hindustan Times, Bulat Nurmukhanov, Head of the International Cooperation Division of the Moscow City Tourism Committee, shared that they are still working to resume the flow of Indian visitors to Moscow at the level that it was prior to the pandemic. Before the pandemic, there was very consistent growth, averaging 12 to 15 per cent per year. Travelling to Moscow has become more convenient as tourists from India and 54 other countries can now apply for an electronic visa to enter Russia, starting on August 1, 2023.
The Initiative Will Revolutionise Tourism In Moscow
To address payment issues, particularly in light of MasterCard and Visa’s withdrawal from the Russian market, programmes like the “Foreign Tourist Card” are also being developed. Bulat went on to say that the Russian Federal Government has launched an initiative to create a “Foreign Tourist Card,” according to reports from PTI via Hindustan Times. A person in India can apply for this virtual card online and transfer funds from their personal bank account to this card. This card aims to resolve payment-related challenges for foreign tourists in Moscow.
To provide more travel options, Russian flag carrier Aeroflot has increased the frequency of its Delhi-Moscow flights to seven times a week. Additionally, India and Russia have agreed to revise their bilateral air services agreement. This will allow Russian carriers to operate more flights to India, including to Mumbai, Kolkata, Ahmedabad, Goa, Amritsar, and Delhi
To address language barriers, Moscow has established tourist centres and a call centre for foreign tourists in need of assistance.
Cover Image Courtesy: Canva