In pursuance of the instructions of the President of the Russian Federation and the Government of the Russian Federation, Federal Agency for Tourism is making efforts to develop cooperation in the field of tourism with the BRICS countries.
China and India сooperation is developing particularly dynamic. This countries — the priority markets for attracting foreign tourists to Russia.
According to Rosstat, in 2019, Chinese citizens made 1.8 million trips to Russia, Indian citizens — 91 thousand trips. However, the dynamics of growth in the flow of Indian tourists to our country, a large population and a growing economy of the country make India a promising market.
According to Rosstat, as for South Africa and Brazil, tourists from Brazil made 40 thousand tourist trips to Russia, tourists from South Africa - 14 thousand in 2019.
The territorial remoteness and the high cost of long-distance travel are a deterrent factor in tourist contacts among countries. Simplified visa do not guarantee a noticeable increasing of tourist flow and the export of tourist services.
Currently, there is no coordinating body and headquarters that provides interaction between the BRICS member countries.
In 2012, Brazil submitted for consideration a draft Memorandum of Understanding among BRICS members on tourism. Among the general provisions, the document provided for the creation of a Working Group for interaction on tourism issues among BRICS members.
The draft of this document was approved by the Russian side, however, did not receive further development.
The holding of the Tourism Conference in India (Khajuraho) in September 2016 also did not produce tangible results to revitalize the work in BRICS. The results of the conference on tourism were reflected in the Convention adopted at the BRICS Summit in Goa in October 2016. In terms of tourism, the document only mentions the importance of further promoting cooperation among the five countries.
On November 26-27, 2018, Federal Agency for Tourism took part in the first meeting of senior officials of the BRICS countries on tourism, which was held in Johannesburg (South Africa).
The initiative to create a BRICS Working Group on Tourism by South African side was supported and the Regulation on the Working Group was agreed during the meeting.
BRICS countries Chairs have planned to sign it within the framework of the next ministerial meeting.
Within the framework of the Working Group on Tourism activities, it seems possible to prepare a perspective plan of joint actions to:
implement projects about promoting tourism products on international platforms;
security and respect for the rights and legitimate interests of citizens;
training personnel in the field of tourism.
Following the meeting, the Federal Agency for Tourism sent comments and suggestions to the Ministry of Tourism of the Republic of South Africa for inclusion in the final documents of the first meeting of the BRICS countries' SAOs on tourism.
As part of Russia's BRICS Chairmanship, on March 18, 2020, an Expert Meeting of Representatives of Tourism Management Bodies of the BRICS Countries was held.
At this meeting, the parties discussed issues related to the development of cooperation with the BRICS countries and the creation of a Working Group for interaction on tourism issues between BRICS members. Also, during the meeting, the parties exchanged experiences and discussed the current situation and ways to overcome the negative consequences of the COVID-19.
According to the Rosstat, at the end of 2019, the state of mutual tourist trips of Russian citizens and the BRICS member countries is characterized by the following indicators (thousand trips):
Entry to Russia
Exit from Russia
The Federative Republic of Brazil
People’s Republic of China
Republic of India
Republic of South Africa