Russian cultural capital St. Petersburg is now accessible to Indian tourists through free E-visa from tomorrow, October 1, 2019. Indian visitors can now avail single-entry tourist, business and humanitarian visa from the comfort of their office or home. The online application for free E-visa takes four days to process and should be applied for 20 days before the date of travel. The E-visa will be valid for a period of 30 days and allows visitors to stay for a period of eight days. This Visa is valid only for Leningrad region, home to Russia’s most sought after tourism hotspot St. Petersburg. Citizens of 53 countries, including India, can avail free E-visa starting October 1. The move is expected to give a boost to Indian arrivals to Russia, and particularly to St. Petersburg.
Commenting on the introduction of free E-visa for the Indian travelers planning to visit St. Petersburg, Visit St. Petersburg’s official partner in India and Managing Director of Salvia Promoters, Prashant Chaudhary, said, “Making available E-visa facility for the Indian travelers keen to explore Russia’s cultural capital St. Petersburg and that too free of cost is a testimony to the region’s commitment to improve bilateral tourism ties. This new initiative is particularly targeted at markets like India that has massive untapped potential for St. Petersburg and its surrounding. The city is one of the finest tourism destinations in the whole of Europe.”
India and Russia are currently connected by Aeroflot’s double-daily operation between Delhi and Moscow that limits the scope of free E-visa as Moscow is currently not on the list of E-visa entry points and it has to be St. Petersburg as point of entry for the Indian travelers planning a trip to St. Petersburg.
Chaudhary informed that the Russian government is working towards making the entire country ready to welcome tourists travelling on E-visa including Moscow. “Also there are CIS and Middle East carriers like Air Astana, Qatar, Emirates, among others that directly connect major Indian cities like Delhi and Mumbai directly to St. Petersburg through their respective hubs. There are a number of options available. Indian travelers planning a visit to St. Petersburg on E-visa have nothing to worry about,” he said.
Visit St. Petersburg opened its India office in Delhi in June 2017 followed by an office in Mumbai later that year coinciding with the 50th year celebration of St. Petersburg and Mumbai as the twin-city. Visit St. Petersburg is represented in India by Salvia Promoters, a destination and tourism marketing company with offices in Delhi and Mumbai.