[IMG=20707-6475] Russian tour operators that specialize in bus tours to Europe have been recently overwhelmed with various visa problems following each other. On August 11th travel market players managed to come to a compromise with the French Consulate at the meeting with Consulate representatives. According to experts, the recently adopted rule regarding visa applications for one group of tourists per day was canceled on August 14th. ‘Now there is no ceiling for a number of visa applications per day, but we need to present to the Consulate a departure schedule of all groups’, said Dmitry Fomintsev, General Director of Tourtrans – Voyage.
Meanwhile, on August 11th tour operators received information about buses with Russian tourists delayed on the Polish border. According to the information available to BANKO, frontier guards faulted Schengen visas of the passengers. Experts say that in average two buses from each key operator of the segment were delayed. Tourists were not allowed to leave their buses – some of them spent around 20 hours at the border. Representatives of Polish tourism authorities explained to tour operators representatives who arrived to the border that they acted upon the EU Directive (№ 895/2006/ЕC). The document says that starting from August 1st 2006 non-EU citizens have a right to enter the recently joint EU countries only given valid Schengen visa. However, in 2003 Russian-Polish intergovernmental Agreement came into force according to which transit of tourists via territories of both countries can be realized without a valid visa within five days.
After long negotiations with the Polish Consulate and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs tour operators could transfer tourists through the border. However, the Consulate warned travel market players that starting from September 1st bus passengers will not be allowed to cross the border without valid entry documents. ‘but it is practically impossible as the majority of Consulates issue visa to the country starting from the entry day’, complained Olga Sanaeva, Director of Ancor.
At the moment tour operators that specialize in bus tours are negotiating with Consulate representatives. BANKO will continue reporting on the development of events.
При перепечатке материалов или частичном цитировании ссылка на портал