Furthermore, the Heads of Austrian regions where the most popular resorts are situated joined forces with Russian officials in their battle against the new bureaucracy. At first they did not understand the significance of the problem but than having realized the implications of the changes – drop in demand for Austria – they had nothing but to take action. Gerhard Leskovar, Marketing Manager for CEE and Asia of Salzburgenland Region Tourist Board, said in the interview to a BANKO correspondent: ‘it is a serious problem for us. Therefore, our Governor claimed officially to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Vienna’.
Meanwhile, according to Russian travel market players, it is planned to introduce the practice of last year when the Austrian Embassy in Moscow accepted invitation letters sent by e-mail with the only ‘innovation’ is the system, which guarantees a signature originality. Three –day shorter period of visa issuing is important for Russian travel market but travel companies are still concerned about the ceiling for the number of applications the Embassy processes each week – 400 applications. ‘At the end of the season we can easily adapt to the limit. However if the situation doesn’t change until October 2006 it will turn out to be a catastrophe’, said Maxim Pristavko, Commercial Director of Jet Travel.