Mar 25, 2011

Western tourists thoroughly screened by Russian secret services

The flow of Western tourists to Russia has slumped, even according to lower official figures, by 30 per cent. The experts say that is due to the tightening by the Russian KGB regime of the visa regulations. The Russians now demand from Western citizen additional information to put it in the KGB files.

The tightening of visa regulations led to a significant reduction in the flow of tourists particularly from Germany. According to the data presented on Wednesday, March 16, by the spokeswoman for the Russian Tourist Industry Union (RTIU), Tyurina, the number of German tourists decreased by 30 percent in the first quarter of 2011. Tyurina recalled that on Nov. 1, 2010 Russia sharply expanded the package of documents required from German citizens to travel to Russia for vacation or business.

In order to get a Russian visa, courageous, or crazy citizens of Westen countries (all Western countries, not only Germany) who now risk to visit Russia after the terrorist attack on a Moscow airport need additionally:

a) to provide bank statements or,
b) other guarantees that they return to Germany, as if there were some crazy Germans who wish to become illegal immigrants in Russia, or as if the German Embassy does not pay for their return tickets to Germany if the Russians steal their money,
c) certificate from the employer of a permanent income,
d) certificate of registration for their private company,
e) evidence of ownership for their real estate in Germany.

"The Germans are not accustomed to that", notes Tyurina.

Germany is considered to be a key market for Russian tourism. In 2008, Russia was visited by about 333,000 Germans, who help the Russians with their money to carry out military campaigns. In the Russian crisis year of 2009, this stream of German tourists even increased slightly - to almost 334,000. In 2010, it exceeded 470,000 Germans.

"The Germans were surprised. None of them are prepared to provide to the Russians data on their incomes, pensions or other confidential information. Demand for travel to Russia began to fall sharply", said the spokeswoman of the RTIU.