OREANDA-NEWS  The Ministry of Economic Development would like to introduce the 72nd visa-free regime in Russia for passengers arriving on cruise ships and extend it to airplane passengers, Deputy head of the department Dmitry Vakhrukov told reporters.

He recalled that this mechanism had already worked in St. Petersburg.

"Next, we would like to extend this visa exemption for 72 hours to the Five Seas resorts. There are marinas everywhere. So that the ship sticks, and foreign tourists can go out and take a walk, spend money with us," Vakhrukov added.

The law on the possibility of visa-free entry to Russia for 72 hours for passengers of cruise liners and ferries was adopted by the State Duma in 2009. The St. Petersburg authorities initiated this innovation. According to the Russian Union of Tourism Industry, the 72-hour visa-free period contributed to an increase in the number of such tourists in the city by up to 30%.