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30 Mar 2017

Some 6,000 tourists visit Minsk visa-free

Some 6,000 tourists visit Minsk visa-freeMINSK, 30 March (BelTA) – Around 6,000 foreign nationals have already taken advantage of the visa-free travel opportunity to visit the Belarusian capital, Sergei Furmanov, the head of the sports and tourism department at Minsk City Hall, said during the meeting held on 30 March to discuss the activities of Minsk Tourist Information Center, BelTA has learned.

“According to the latest data, some 6,000 foreigners have already taken advantage of the visa-free travel opportunity. They visited the capital for business or tourism purposes. With the launch of the five-day visa-free travel, we expect an increase in the export of tourism services. We have observed an upward trend since the beginning of the year. As for 2016, it saw a decline in tourist numbers as against 2015,” Sergei Furmanov said.

Work is underway to develop new travel programs in addition to those offered by travel agencies today. The programs will be designed to familiarize tourists with the Belarusian traditions, customs and culture. Plans have been made to introduce changes to the work of Minsk Tourist Information Center and step up the efforts to promote Minsk in the international tourism market. More than Br53,200 has been earmarked for these purposes in the budget in 2017.

In 2016, Minsk Tourist Information Center arranged more than 30 tours of the city for foreign delegations from Russia, Ukraine, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia, Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan, Slovenia, Poland, the Czech Republic, France, Serbia, Thailand, China, and Japan. Work continued on the Sightseeing in Minsk project. The official tourism portal of the city of Minsk was updated and a new section about industrial tourism was added. Information about Minsk was distributed in social networks; special promotional materials, leaflets, and brochures were designed.

Work is underway to make it easier for tourists to navigate around the city. A total of 110 information points have been set up in cooperation with the Belarusian Association of Transport Experts and Surveyors. Around 1,400 signs for tourists have been installed. The tourist areas Upper Town, Nemiga, Trinity Suburb, Zolotaya Gorka have been arranged.

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