Ali Mohammadi, the Iranian consul general in Russia’s Astrakhan region, said over 150,000 Iranian tourists are expected to visit Russia during the current year.
Visa-free travel for tour groups, established by Iran and Russia, will lead to the growth of tourist inflow, Mohammadi told the TASS news agency
“Last year, more than 120,000 Iranian tourists visited Russia, so I believe that this year, the number will exceed 150, 000” he added.
“We hope that the Russian tourist inflow to our country will also grow,” the Iranian official said.
“This will happen when people know more about Iran’s culture, civilization, opportunities and safe environment. However, at present, the number of Russians visiting Iran is less compared to the number of Iranian tourists”.
On Monday, Russia’s ambassador to Tehran said Iranian citizens could start traveling visa free to Russia in two or three months.
Under a previous agreement, Iranian tourists, in groups of 5 to 50 people, can travel to Russia without an entry visa for up to 15 days.
In November 2015, Iran and Russia clinched the agreement on simplifying visa requirements, during Russian President Vladimir Putin’s visit to Tehran. The accord took effect in February 2016.
In recent years, there has been a sharp rise in the number of Iranian tourists traveling to Russia, particularly to Moscow and Saint Petersburg.
(Source: Tasnim, under Creative Commons licence)