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19 Jul 2016

More tourists coming to Belarus from Israel, Turkey thanks to visa-free travel rules

MINSK, 19 July (BelTA) – After visa requirements were scrapped, the number of tourists coming from Israel to Belarus rose by more than 50% while the number of tourists from Turkey rose by virtually 150%. The information was released by Natalia Yeliseyeva, Deputy Director, Head of the Tourism Planning and Organization Section of the Tourism Department of the Belarusian Sports and Tourism Ministry, on 19 July, BelTA has learned.

Tourists can visit the national park Belovezhskaya Pushcha without visas for a period of three days. The procedure has been in place for over a year and has managed to virtually double the number of foreign tourists, who visit the national park. “Not everyone is aware of the fact they can visit Belovezhskaya Pushcha without visas. This is why we are putting efforts into raising awareness about it,” noted Natalia Yeliseyeva.

Suggestions have been voiced to allow tourists to visit the Augustow Canal without visas for three days. The Sports and Tourism Ministry has forwarded the relevant draft presidential decree to the government. “We are also debating where tourists should be able to travel without visas — the Augustow Canal proper or the surrounding areas as well,” explained the official.

Natalia Yeliseyeva stated that tourist services are underdeveloped in the Belarusian part of the Augustow Canal in comparison with the Polish part. “We need to raise investments and enhance the Belarusian part of the Augustow Canal from the tourism point of view,” she added.

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