Russia and Japan plan to bring the reciprocal tourist flow amongst themselves to 250,000 by 2019. As the head of the Federal Agency for Tourism Oleg Safonov said that both the parties will sign the corresponding document during the annual international tourism exhibition (JATA) in Tokyo, which starts on Thursday.
“We will sign a memorandum on the week of food tourism in Japan and weeks of wine tourism in Russia.” The development of gastronomic tourism is one of the most interesting directions in the industry, “he said, adding that a protocol on amending the program of joint actions.
“We are talking about the fact that we will work to increase the tourist flow between the two countries, defining as a benchmark the achievement in 2018 of a level of 220 thousand, and in 2019 – 250 thousand citizens moving between the two countries,” – he explained.
According to Safonov, the parties “significantly increase these key indicators, because earlier in the program of actions there was a much lower threshold,” and the dynamics of the growth of the tourist flow is very high. “I led the dynamics for this year: the number of tourists who came from Russia to Japan grew by 40%, and from Japan to Russia – by 18%,” – added the head of Rosturizm.
According to Safonov, one of the reasons for the sharp increase in tourist flows between the countries was a mutual simplification of visa procedures. He also believes that for the remaining quarter before the end of the year these indicators may still change. “We are talking about the period at the beginning of September, before the end of the year we have another whole quarter, the final indicators may be slightly different, but even these figures are a very good indicator,” he concluded.
In recent years, according to various estimates, Japan was visited by about 70 thousand Russians, about the same number of Japanese people came to Russia. Since the beginning of 2017, both the parties have gone on mutual simplification of the visa regime.