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17 Mar 2016

Visa-free travels between Belarus, China for tourist groups starting April-May

MINSK, 17 March (BelTA) – Visa-free travels between Belarus and China will be allowed for organized tourist groups starting April-May, BelTA learned from Vadim Karmazin, Director of the Tourism Department of the Belarusian Sports and Tourism Ministry, on 17 March.

“A protocol to the Belarus-China intergovernmental agreement on mutual visa-free travels for tourist groups has been signed. The visa-free regime for tourist groups is expected to come into effect in April-May 2016,” noted the official. The Chinese side has already ratified the document. Belarus intends to finish the relevant procedures soon.

Visa-free travel regulations will be in effect for tourist groups only.

According to Vadim Karmazin, plans have been made to set up a joint travel agency to coordinate actions of Belarus and China. Belarus will also present its potential during expos in China and will invite representatives of the Chinese tourism industry to go on familiarization tours.

Earlier BelTA quoted Vadim Karmazin as saying that special tourist routes and guidebooks are being prepared for Chinese tourists in Belarus. Peculiarities of the Chinese tourism industry will be taken into account for the sake of organizing recreation for them. For instance, the Chinese are interested in everything related to the communism era. Ecological tourism and health tourism are also popular.

Apart from that, a presidential decree came into force in August 2015 to introduce visa-free entry, exit, and transit procedures for China citizens. Chinese citizens are also allowed to stay in Belarus without visas for up to 72 hours. The procedures are in effect for China citizens, who arrived by direct flights from China, if their passports contain valid visas of a European Union member state or a Schengen zone participating state.

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