Foreigners planning to travel to Russia will have to provide detailed itineraries along with their visa applications as of Monday, according to the country's Association of Tour Operators.
Travelers will now be required to list all cities and towns they intend to visit in Russia, along with information about their Russian hosts or visa sponsors, the Interfax news agency reported Monday, citing the tour operators' association.
Tourists will also be required to submit the address of a migration service office where they intend to register as a visitor, the report said. The new rules were introduced by the Federal Migration Service and are mandatory for all visitors, regardless of their visa type.
"This isn't great for the country's image among tourists," the tour association's deputy chief, Vladimir Kantorovich, was quoted as saying Friday by the Rossiiskaya Gazeta newspaper. "It is annoying when you have to answer too many questions on a form, and the wish to visit such countries disappears."
Additionally, many foreign tourists do not have a detailed itinerary prepared in advance and plan to modify their travel plans as they go along, Kantorovich said.