India

Until recently India was not considered an important incoming tourism market by Russia. However one should remember that these days India has one of the biggest economies of the world. Its GDP increases by 9% yearly, its middle class counts 300 million potential tourists and outgoing tourism from India increases by 14% each year.

It should also be noted that the Russian-Indian trade and economic relations scope has been increasing the past few years. These points prove that the Indian destination could play a very serious part in Russia’s inbound tourism sphere. It is in this context that cooperation between the non-profit Partnership of International Tourism Integration «World without Borders» and Indian travel and tourism businesses is developing. Each year in February the “World Without Borders” Association traditionally prepares and organizes the work of the united national Russian stand on the international travel fair OTM in Deli.  

A presentation of the Russian tourist resources with the participation of the Federal Agency for tourism , Foreign affairs Ministry, Russian Embassy and Trade mission in India officials, as well as Ministry of Culture and tourism of India officials, heads of Indian and Russian tourism and travel businesses, journalists from both countries’ leading medias and Aeroflot’s representation bureau in Deli officials, organized within the framework of the leading Indian travel Fair (OTM). The “World Without Borders” Association is collaborating with India’s leading tour operating companies working with incoming tourism to the Russian destination. A dialogue is ongoing with the «Travel Agents Association of India» (TAAI) on organizing a familiarization trip to Russia for a group of Indian tour operators with an objective to show them Russia’s tourism potential.

The “World Without Borders” Association and its members’ interests on several targeted projects on the Indian tourism market are represented by the Indian travel operator “Salvia Travels”. This company has been working on the Russian destination in India for many years, it is even officially representing several airlines and has a network of agencies throughout the country. According to the agreement with the “Salvia Travels”, this company’ objectives are the following: keeping ties with Russia’s official representations abroad, India’s national tourism administration, professional associations in the field of tourism and Indian tour operating companies interested in working with Russia. “Salvia Travels” is distributing information on the “World Without Borders” Association, its goal and objectives, opportunities, business activities and planned events as well as promotional materials on Russian tour itineraries created by Associated members. It will also help Indian tour operating companies prepare visa documents for their tourists to be submitted to Russian Consulate Generals in India.

An online visa application program was designed with the help of the “World Without Borders” Association to facilitate visa formalities for Russian tour operating companies working with incoming tourists from India and interested in increasing tourist exchanges between the two countries. The advantages of this system consist of the absence of necessity to present the original tourist invitation for the visa, which simplifies the work of host agencies in Russia and, even more importantly, of its shortening deadlines, so that visas for Indian tourists can be issued during several days without even an interview. This program was “test launched” in 2008. Associated members of “World Without Borders” Association have since fully appreciated its benefits. Now they can acquire visas for incoming Indian tourists faster and easier, with less expense. Tens of thousands of tourists have acquired their visas to Russia since the launch of this program, which, incidentally, is highly appreciated by the Russian consular offices.