Russians expect around 100,000 Iranians to visit the country this year, the report added, noting most travelers (about 95 percent) are usually interested in Moscow and St. Petersburg. The next popular destination is the Golden Ring.
The number of foreign tourists in Russia increased in 2016 by 7 percent, with the largest growth in arrivals by Iranians, said Russian Minister of Culture Vladimir Medinsky earlier in March, addressing the opening ceremony of the international tourism fair “Intourmarket-2017”.
On March 28, Iran and Russia inked a visa-free agreement for tourist groups, as the two countries are taking steps towards broadening bilateral tourism ties.
Based on the agreement tour groups of 5 to 50 people heading to Russia from Iran or vice versa will be granted a visa-free stay of up to 15 days.
Last December, Mehdi Sanaei, Tehran’s ambassador to Moscow, said Iran-Russia interactions in the tourism sector has led to a sharp rise in the number of visits to the two countries over the past two years.
PHOTO: A view of St. Basil’s Cathedral, a major tourist destination in Moscow