Tetsuya Toyoda: The Introduction of On-Arrival Visa in Vladivostok and Possible Increase in the Number of Japanese Tourists
On 13 July 2015 Russian President Vladimir Putin signed a legislation establishing Vladivostok Free Port. One of effects of the new law is the introduction of the on-arrival visa regime in Vladivostok[i]. This can promote tourism from Japan.
The City of Vladivostok is a jewel in the Far East. Every Japanese visitor is impressed by the fact that there is an authentic European city so close to Japan. It takes only two and half hours' flight from Tokyo-Narita Airport to Vladivostok. If the flow of tourists from Japan increases, there will be direct flights from other cities in Japan, which will further increase the number of visitors. The increase in tourists will make the air tickets less expensive, which in turn will dramatically increase the number of tourists in the near future.
The Huis Ten Bosch ("House in the Woods" in Dutch), a pseudo-European amusement park at Nagasaki in Japan attracts three million people every year. Why not a real European city can attract more? Vladivostok has historical monuments, museums, an opera house, and other cultural attractions. Why not an week-end trip to Vladivostok from Tokyo, from Osaka, from Akita? The introduction of the the on-arrival visa regime can double or even triple and quadruple the number of Japanese tourists in Vladivostok from next year on. However, I have not seen so far any information in Japanese language about this revolutionary change on the visa regime. A little more efforts of advertising and promotion will bring Japanese tourists to the jewel-like city in the Far East!
Tetsuya Toyoda, Deputy Director, Associate Professor of Institute for Asian Studies and Regional Collaboration, Akita International University (Japan)
[i] According to the Federal Law "On the free port of Vladivostok" as well as the planned amendments to the Fed. Law "On the Procedure for Exit from the Russian Federation and entry to Russian Federation ", visitors will be able to enter the territory of Free Port of Vladivostok without a visa. The visa for a period of 8 days will be granted at the entrance directly.