Some of the international media stated yesterday that the EU is considering the implementation of Tourist Visa restrictions on Russian Federation citizens.I call the politicians to Take tourism out of the equation.
This move although could be morally justified, is targeting the tourism industry of Europe. Russians are amongst Europe's leading visitors and are the best spenders together with the Chinese.
Who is buying Versace, Lois Vitton, Hugo Boss, Prada and Hermes if not Russians and Chinese. Who is staying is Five stars hotels and using limousine service.
Just go to Harrods, KDW in Berlin or Le Printemps in Paris and listed to the language people talk in.
See how much Duty Free rebate Russians are taking out.
Tourism is a bridge between peoples and not an economical weapon. If you want to target the Russian Oligarchs you will fail miserably for the simple fact 99% of those Oligarchs have EU citizenships. All the bank accounts are listed on OFF-SHORE companies listed in Cyprus and Gibraltar and Vaduz .
If the politicians in Brussels want to use the economy as a weapon they have so many other options but keep tourism out of it.
So let me ask the question openly : who are you going to harm by implementing restrictions on Russian visa applications to the EU?Hoteliers prepare for Russian travel boom - Fuelled by its growing middle class and rising spending power, Russia is experiencing an outbound travel boom like never before, according to the Hotels.com Russian International Travel Monitor (RITM). Almost half (49%) of hoteliers surveyed worldwide have seen a rise in Russian guests in the last year, with 54% of those hoteliers seeing bookings grow by more than 10% or more. According to UNWTO, Russia is now the world's second fastest growing outbound travel market in terms of spend, up 26% for the first nine months of 2013 and more than doubling since 2005. The RITM examines how hoteliers are reacting to this rapid growth, which last year saw Russians spend $43 billion on travel abroad, making Russia the fifth largest outbound travel market globally.Joseph 'Yossi' Fischer
Owner at Vision Hospitality & Travel