Schengen visas to Russian citizens
lawyers in spain

The Spanish Government wants to remove the need of a visa to enter the country  for  Russian Tourists 

Certain areas such as  Costa del Sol, have seen an important growth on Russian tourism in the past years, becoming an important and interesting target market. The government wants to remove the burden of  the bureaucratic processes  by canceling the need of a visa for tourists from Russia. Spain is currently trying to achieve this goal by negotiating with the European Union.

This plan was disclosed last week in Marbella by Elias Bendolo, President of the Costa del Sol Tourist Board for the provincial government.  He stated that the Costa del Sol Tourist Board will  organize 36 promotional activities in Russia, 22 of which are going to be specifically focused in Marbella and elite Tourism. As records show, a majority  of Russian tourists visiting Costa del Sol visit the coastal city of Marbella.

The objective is to consolidate the established markets, reinforce the local market and capture the emerging ones, among which Russians have a preeminent role. Russian tourism in Malaga increased on a yearly 20 to 30%.  More than 45,000 passengers arrived to Malaga airport in 2012. a 27% increase compared with the previous year.

Bureaucracy

In the past months the administrative processes to get a visa have been simplified. The number of staff involved in the visa process has been tripled and the forms have been simplified.  But, Mr. Bendolo is convinced that the most relevant aspect of the issue is that the spanish government is working within the EU to banish this need for russians to have a tourist visa and he considers this to be a key factor.

The Tourist Board´s objective is to make Russia a loyal market for Marbella and Costa del Sol.

According to different indicators of tourism coming from Russia, Malaga is the third most popular destination for this market.

The growth which has been noted in different indicators of tourism emanating from Russia has placed Malaga province as the third most. The goal  is to consolidate Marbella as the third point of the triangle with Madrid and Barcelona, which are the two main touristic cities of Spain.

Strategic market

The appeal of this market lies in its large amount of potential tourists with high purchasing power, as their economy is in constant growth, as well as the possibility of russian nationals deciding to live on the Costa del Sol area. The Russian market is also a strategic objective as its tourists are likely to stay in Spain for more than 10 days and they spend 50 % more than the average tourist.

Therefore, the new target has been set with the following statement: “We don’t want residential tourists, we want new Malaga residents”.

The Tourist Board of Costa del Sol wants  not only to increase the purchase of second homes  but to increase the permanent population of the Costa del Sol, as they want people to live in Malaga province for more than 6 months of the year.

The past year, there was a raise of 12 per cent on the sale of properties on the Costa del Sol, which shows a clear sign of economic recovery

With regard to the Government’s announcement that it would ease the residence of any foreigner who bought a property over a certain value , the amount  is still being debated by the Government .

For more information regarding real estate purchase and Residency permits contact our law firm.

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