Spain intends to simplify visa procedures for the tourists from Russia. Under the new scheme, the Russians will be able to get a visa for 5 five years. Five-year visas are to be given to those, who have already received Spanish visa at least twice.
Today Spain is certainly interested in simplifying the visa regime with Russia. Against the background of the reduction of tourist interest to Spain from Britain and Germany - the main suppliers of tourist traffic to the resorts of the country - the Russian tourists may be a "magic wand", which will contribute to the growth of the Spanish tourist industry.
Under the new rules, which are still discussed, a five-year visa to Spain will be given after receiving the one-year Schengen visa and then the two-year one. At the same time, the Russian newspaper Vedomosti said that negotiations on a new format of the visa regime between Russia and Spain are still at informal level.
Currently demand for tours in Spain is growing in Russia. According to the Spanish tourist authorities, the number of Russian tourists, who visited the country for the first 9 months of 2010, increased compared to the same period in 2009 by 60%. Significantly increased the number of tourists, who go to Spain on their own.
Among the EU countries that supported Spanish initiative are Italy, France and Finland. Slightly less enthusiasm is seen from Germany, which fears that the introduction of the new visa regime will affect the domestic labor market.
Simplification of the visa regime between Russia and Spain may be one of the major events within the Year of Spain, which has already started in Russia.
This year, in addition to Spain, visa facilitation will be offered to the Russians by Turkey. Holidays in Turkey from 2011 will be available without a visa for travels for a period that does not exceed 30 days.