The demand for visas for the Schengen zone will have increased by 20% until spring 2024, according to the Da-Tours agency. The trend is confirmed by the United Visa Center network and the Kalinka Service agency. At the same time, the number of people wishing to apply for Schengen entry significantly exceeds the capacity of consulates, which, due to sanctions, have seriously reduced their staff.

Schengen demand increased by 20%: visa centers cannot cope with the flow – RBC

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According to RBC, on the eve of the holiday period, those who have adapted to flights with transfers and new requirements and deadlines for visas intend to satisfy the pent-up demand, which is why queues have appeared again at consulates: registration is already for end of May/June/July.

The increase in the number of applications is explained by the fact that visas have been shortened, so people are applying for them again. To avoid problems with documents and deadlines, applications are usually made through agencies, and the choice of country depends on two criteria: the duration of the visa and “loyalty to the Russians” (Greece and Hungary are popular in this sense).

As a result, most often they apply for visas to Italy, Spain and France (multiple-entry visas are issued). But at the same time, it is almost impossible to get to France right now because of the Olympics, unless you use “priority slots” at the consulates.

It would seem that travel requests to the EU have increased this year by 10-15% compared to last year (data from the Russian Union of the Travel Industry), but compared to the pre-pandemic period They are insignificant figures: 80-90% less than in 2019.

According to the specialized portal Schengen Visa Info, in 2019 4 million applications for Schengen were submitted and in 2022 687 thousand (603 thousand were issued, of which 154.4 thousand to Spain, 103 thousand to Italy, 55.2 thousand to France and Germany – 38.8 thousand).

If we talk about ready-made tour packages, their demand has also increased: 25% since the beginning of the year compared to 2023 for Tez Tour, 20% for PAC Group. The trend is also confirmed in Russian Express and Intourist, with the exception that pre-pandemic figures will no longer be available.

One of the happy trends is the return of combined tours of several countries. Last year, due to great uncertainty, tour operators withdrew them from their offer and have now returned them again. About 40% of tourists choose similar trips (the most popular are France – Italy, Spain – France, France – Italy – Switzerland, Germany – Austria).


Ekaterina Alipova

Source: RB

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I am a professional journalist and content creator with extensive experience writing for news websites. I currently work as an author at Gadget Onus, where I specialize in covering hot news topics. My written pieces have been published on some of the biggest media outlets around the world, including The Guardian and BBC News.


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