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6 Sep 2018

Augustow Canal to be available for virtual tour

GRODNO, 6 September (BelTA) – The Augustow Canal will be available for a virtual tour, participants to the meeting of the Belarusian-Polish working group on joint development of the Augustow Canal told the media in Grodno on 6 September, BelTA has learned.

Joint work is currently underway on a website about the Augustow Canal. The website will include panoramic photos similar to the ones on popular mapping services. A virtual traveler can see landscapes as if from a canoe or a yacht.

“In cooperation with Poland we will continue to promote the Augustow Canal and its territories under one brand,” Grodno Oblast Vice Governor Viktor Liskovich said. “The work is underway, and as a result the number of tourists to the Augustow Canal is increasing.”

The seasonal border border checkpoint Lesnaya-Rudawka, which is located right on the channel, has accommodated over 2,400 travelers: on foot, by bicycle and small vessels.

“A couple of years ago we started with a few dozen people per season in Lesnaya-Rudawka. It means that joint work yields results. This is just one of the results of the work of the group. It is important to continue working to strengthen cooperation, to provide new products and opportunities for recreation,” Podlaskie Voivodeship Vice Marshal Bogdan Dyjuk said.

The international project August Velo envisages the development of cycling routes within the area of the Augustow Canal on both sides of the border, and also their inclusion into the global cycling network. A 60km cycling route on the Belarusian side will connect Grodno with the Kuzhinets Sluice on the Augustow Canal near the Lesnaya-Rudawka checkpoint. In the future, the route can be expanded. Lithuania also shows interest in it. In a broader format, it is planned to present a single waterway, create interesting tourist routes, for example, a cultural or culinary one.

The growth in the number of tourists stimulates the development of the necessary infrastructure. Several hospitality objects designed for guests with various requests and income have been built along the Augustow Canal.

There is only one train service from Poland to Grodno. The issue of increasing the number of railway routes is under consideration. A modern airport near Grodno that can accommodate all kinds of aircraft makes the region more attractive for tourists. At the meeting of the working group it was noted that work will be intensified to set up a road checkpoint Sofiyevo-Lipszczany on the Belarusian-Polish border. It will shorten the way between Grodno and Augustow twice.

The fourth meeting of the Belarusian-Polish working group on the joint development of the Augustow canal was held at the Ozerny spa resort in Grodno Oblast on 6 September. Guests from Poland had an opportunity to get familiar with the tourist potential of the visa-free zone in Grodno Oblast. The working group on the development of the Augustow Canal was established in late 2016. Since then the group has been holding regular meetings in Belarus and Poland in rotation.

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