[IMG=20048-5812]The majority of Russian tour operators that specialize in French market agreed that the increase of visa issuing period will have a negative impact on the market.
Thus, key market players will have to reduce air traffic volume to the destination and to renegotiate contracts with Airline Companies. Ludmila Puchkova, President of Lanta-tour Voyage, commented on the situation as follows: ‘according to our statistics, at the moment groups to France are formed on average ten days before the departure date – two-three days to collect documents and apply for visa and a week for application processing in the Consulate. In case of longer visa-issuing period we will not be able to send more than 130 tourists to France per week with the current tourist flow to the country of 270 people’. As a result the tourist flow to France will decrease by 50%.
Meanwhile, Margarita Davlikova, General Director Deputy of Inna Tour, forecasted a 30% decrease of sales volume. According to her, the current situation might stimulate tourist flow to other European countries that are more loyal to Russian tourists. Thus, both experts do not exclude the possibility that a part of potential ‘French’ tourists will prefer Italy with its board excursion options and more loyal position towards Russia.
Furthermore, top managers of Russian tour operating companies after the meeting in the Embassy, emphasized the visa problem requires an intergovernmental attention. Meanwhile, representatives of the French Consulate explain their initiative by high workload. Ludmila Puchkova, pointed out that Russian travel industry will try to get the problem over to the Russian Tourism Unity and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of France’.
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