The Russian government has received a proposal from Pskov Oblast Governor Mikhail Vedernikov seeking to introduce a three-day visa freedom period for foreign tourists within the governor's area of administration.
According to calculations by Pskov officials, this measure would increase the flow of tourism from neighbouring Estonia and Latvia threefold, said Olga Kachnova, chairwoman of the oblast's tourism committee.
Tourists are hindered by how expensive Russian visas are, which is why Pskov is interested in both issuing electronic visas to foreigners as well as implementing a three-day visa freedom for visitors to Pskov Oblast, Ms Kachnova explained.
"Very many Latvian and Estonian residents are prepared to visit us, but the visa costs two or three times as much as the entire trip to Pskov," she highlighted. "A single-entry visa currently costs €80; this is a significant barrier."
In 2018, Pskov Oblast was visited by approximately one million excursion and 400,000 individual tourists. Of these 1.4 million tourists, one tenth were visitors from abroad.
Editor: Aili Vahtla