Visa-free travel with the EU has had a major impact on travel habits of Ukrainians, especially those in eastern regions

Visa-free travel with the EU has had a major impact on travel habits of Ukrainians, especially those in eastern regions

Visa-free travel with the EU has had a major impact on travel habits of Ukrainians, especially those in eastern regions

The FINANCIAL -- The introduction of visa-free agreement with EU countries has encouraged more Ukrainians to travel to the EU for various purposes. The number of travellers has especially increased among the inhabitants of the country’s eastern regions.

This was demonstrated by the results of the second wave of the sociological survey "Opinions and Views of Residents of Ukraine Regarding Visa-Free Regime with the European Union", commissioned by the EU-funded Open Europe project and conducted by Kyiv International Institute of Sociology in December 2017.

According to the survey results, the share of Ukrainians who visited the EU at least once over the past two years has increased from 9% to 11%. Meanwhile, this indicator has grown fourfold for residents of eastern regions of the country – from 2% to 9%.

As for the plans of Ukrainians for the next 12 months, the number of those who are now planning to visit their friends and relatives without a visa more than doubled, jumping from 8% to 21%. Also, the number of Ukrainians planning to visit the EU to establish a new business increased by a similar proportion, from 4% to 10%. The number of those who are aiming to work in the countries of the European Union increased from 17% to 27%. In addition, the number of Ukrainians who have ambitions to study in the EU has grown from 7% to 12%.

The EU-funded Open Europe campaign website provides detailed explanations of the rules and possibilities of visa-free travel, including the role of the biometric passport, rules for crossing the border, the necessary duration of stay in the EU, opportunities for tourism, short-term training, and business development.