Thursday, July 05, 2007

And the winner is ... Sochi

Congratulations to Russia and its successful bid for the 2014 Winter Olympics.

Sochi's success should also be a boost and benefit for Ukraine as more world wide attention is focuses on the black sea resorts region.

Ukraine should seek to encourage Russia to free up its visa requirements for short term visits bringing Russia's visa's system in line with Ukraine and other Eastern European Countries.
Russia's current visa requirements are holding back tourism in the region including Ukraine.

Changes to Russia's visa system would enhance the success of the games and development of tourism in the period leading up to and beyond the 2014 Olympic games.
Well done and we wish Russia all the best in the success of the 2014 Winter Olympic Games.


Vilhelm Konnander said...

Dear Ukraine Today,

I totally agree with you! The Russian visa requirements for Ukrainians and others are scandalous. Still, visa regimes are reciprocal, so the EU and other states should also consider how they impose visas on Russians and other nationalities. Due to the Schengen agreement, this is however not very likely. The solution for Sochi 2014 might simply be a temporary lifting of visa requirements, as Ukraine did with EU-citizens the other year. This usually has a good effect of abolishing visas altoghether as the Ukrainian example shows.



Online Editor said...


Thanks for your comment

Yes and no.

I disagree with the notion that Russia should free up its visa requirements only for the games.

It would be in both Russia and Ukraine's interest if the visa requirements were free up now.

The requirements for registration and invitations is restrictive and only serves to limit tourism development and opportunities.

As Ukraine has found, by partially removing Visa restrictions for Short-term Tourist Visa for EU, Canadian and US Citizens, it has significantly benefited from changes to its visa requirements.

Unfortunately Ukraine has not yet standardised its visa requirements with other EU countries (such as Poland, Slovakia and Hungary) A number of other counties including as Australia and New Zealand who do not require a visa to visit Europe still require visa invitations to visit Ukraine - This is probably a fault with their respective governments as well as with Ukraine)

Whilst it would be great for Russian and Ukrainian Citizens to receive a better deal in terms of receiving visas abroad it never the less is in Russia and Ukraine's interest to free-up the visa requirements. Even if it involved a payment of $30 at the point of entry, as is the case in Turkey, the ease of applying and registerng a visa would generate significant improvement. It would show the world that Russia and Ukraine are no longer closed borders or countries that are hostile to tourist visitations.

Freeing-up the visa requirements before the 2014 games would facilitate an increase in tourism to the region in the lead up to the 2014 games alowing Russia, Ukraine and Georgia to take advantage of the fact that Russia will host this world wide event in 2014.

It is up to Russia first and foremost to change its requirements (Ukraine should also advocate Russia review its policy as it would benefit significantly should Russia review its policy)