Estonia opens gates a little wider for Russians


Russian tourists will no longer need a visa invitation

With legislative amendments adopted last week, effective in a couple of months, an Estonian visa can be applied for without an invitation. The incoming tourism business will of course gain for this. The potential market of the nearby Leningrad oblast and the city of St Petersburg with its six million residents will become even more important for Estonian tourism. Many Russians have already travelled to Finland, which doesn’t require a visa invitation; now Estonia will benefit in a similar way. In 2008, more than 90 percent of Finland’s visa applications – a total of 742,237 – were processed in the four Finnish representations in Russia where the number of applications increased by 15 percent last year. Out of all visas granted by Finland in Russia, more than 80 percent are long-duration multiple-entry visas. More than 350,000 residents of Russia travel each year aboard Tallink’s ships, but they mostly use the shipping lines to Finland and Sweden. “If the application process for visas becomes easier for Russians, they could start far more to use the lines to Tallinn,” enthused Peeter Roose, Tallink’s sales and marketing director.


Eesti Paevaleht, 2009-05-13

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