On December 12th the French Consulate in Moscow did not accept visa applications. According to Tatiana Kulikova, Press Attaché of Maison de la France, on the previous days the Consulate accepted an enormous number of documents therefore it was decided to accept applications only of those tourists who booked a flight not a bus tour. ‘However, owing the high workload of consulate agents the Consulate did not accept documents at all. On December 13th visa applications will be accepted in the normal regime. The Consulate will additionally inform travel companies about the situation with visas for bus tours’, Kulikova commented.
Meanwhile, Russian tour operators do not feel enthusiastic towards the news of the French Consulate. Thus, Elena Zimina, Head of the French Department of Lanta-tour Voyage, stated as follows: ‘there can be a high workload on the threshold of the New year period, but if the Consulate does not take action to resolve the situation the consequences might be unfavorable’. Furthermore, Andrey Ignatiev, President of BSI Group, observed that ‘the situation repeats every year. The French Consulate remains the most problematic one. The situation would improve if they could open Visa Centers following the successful initiatives of the Consulate of the Netherlands and Great Britain’. Natalia Rotmistrova, Marketing Director of Roza Vetrov, said: ‘we will see the development of events. Probably they will be able to solve the current problem. At the moment they are more inclined towards the interests of tour operators. We have 50 visa applications of a bus group tour, however we hope the situation will normalize soon’.
Meanwhile, Tatiana Kulikova, commented as follows: ‘The Consulate will do everything possible to issue visas in time. We will take efforts in order not to spoil New Year holidays for Russian tourists’.
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