"Russia is facing good prospects in developing tourist business," believes Ambassador of the Czech Republic to Russia Jaroslav Basta. In an interview with a RIA Novosti correspondent, the ambassador said that his compatriots, albeit slowly, "were opening Moscow for themselves." Before 2001, Russia was an attractive recreation place primarily for youth. Those, who like to go to the extremes, went to Baikal, Altai and Siberia with pleasure. According to the ambassador, everything could change in the near future and Russia could become a place of secure tourism. Jaroslav Basta expressed the hope that Czech tourist companies would "open new directions of activities in Russia." In his words, the number of applications filed by Russian citizens for obtaining Czech visas has not only dropped over the past few months but grew significantly in view of school vacations. The embassy expects a sharp increase in the number of those wishing to spend New Year and Christmas holidays in Prague and Karlovy Vary.