As we all know, the 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia™ kicks off on June 14th this year. The final will be held on July 15 and the games will be held in Moscow, St. Petersburg, Sochi and Yekaterinburg among others.
According to news released by the Russian Federation government, from June 4 to July 25, 2018 local time, Russia will implement a visa-free policy for foreign audiences during the 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia™.
Foreign visitors may enter or depart Russia via an entity that records personal information or an electronic viewer card (a special passport for fans), and tickets or proofs of obtaining tickets. The entry period is 10 days before the first match of the World Cup, and the exit period is 10 days after the last match.
In order to attract more Chinese tourists to Russia, more preferential policies were introduced:
From April 2018, the pilot shopping malls such as TSUM began to implement a VAT refund system for tourists. Chinese tourists can enjoy a tax rebate up to 18%;
The "Velaro RUS" train between Moscow and St. Petersburg has launched the Chinese magazine service and is currently considering the launch of Chinese food, and intends to provide basic Chinese training for train attendants;
Russia actively responds to Chinese tourists' preference for cashless payments. The "Golden Ring of Russia" folk performance theater and other places have opened Alipay and UnionPay card ticket-selling services.
According to the big data from China's authoritative travel platform Ctrip, as of now, during the 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia™, hotel bookings in major game cities such as Moscow and St. Petersburg increased by more than 50% year-on-year. Booking tension is very high, with popular hotels around the 12 competition venues already sold out.
Not only are the hotels sought after. Stimulated by factors such as the World Cup, the air ticket sales period to Russia is also advanced. From mid-June to mid-July, airline bookings from China to the major game cities increased by 40% year-on-year, with only a few sporadic tickets remained for popular flights.
Therefore, if you are now tempted to go to Russia, get ready immediately!
More info you need to know about recent outbound trips—
Not long ago, the House of Councillors of Japan voted to pass the act of International Sightseeing Tourist Tax, which levies a 1,000 yen (about RMB 59) "departure tax" for each departure person.
This law will formally become effective on January 7, 2019. It is applicable for all persons over the age of two who leave Japan by plane or by boat. Both foreigners and Japanese will be charged by adding the tax in airline ticket price or other forms. Flight attendants and transfer passengers who enter less than 24 hours are not included.
Coincidentally, New Zealand's Tourism Minister Kelvin Davies stated on May 10 that New Zealand will soon impose tax on foreign tourists to help develop local tourism and natural resource infrastructure.
According to Davies, the New Zealand government is currently brewing tax rules, such as the object, location and amount of taxation, how to collect taxes, and the whereabouts of taxes, and plans to publish the details "within a few weeks".