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Opinions & Interviews

7 Jun 2017

Belarus attracts Japanese tourists as offbeat destination

VITEBSK, 7 June (BelTA) – Belarus remains off the beaten track to Japan, and this is the reason why it could be interesting for Japanese tourists, Executive Director of MK II Corporation Miyuki Kawasaka told BelTA.

A team of TV journalists of Japan’s major TV corporation Asahi is shooting a large episode of the Tabi Sarada (Travel Salad) TV show about Belarus in Vitebsk on 7 June. Asahi Broadcasting Corporation is co-producing this project with MK II Corporation. Vitebsk became the first Belarusian city to feature in the program. “Many Japanese know nothing about Vitebsk. We would like to show them the city’s gorgeous views, sceneries, temples, as well as everything related to Marc Chagall. We aim to depict Vitebsk as a city of arts and inspiration. This is the first time I came here and I am quite impressed with the architecture. It is essential for us to communicate this beauty to as many viewers as possible,” Miyuki Kawasaka remarked.

Director of Asahi Broadcasting Corporation and the Tabi Sarada TV program Shindji Hamamoto came to Vitebsk in 2016. Back then he noticed some places to shoot in future. The Japanese journalists have caught on camera the view of Vitebsk from Uspenskaya mountain and art school students en plein air. The Japanese will then visit the Marc Chagall Museum.

The production team told BelTA that the Japanese prefer to travel in groups. Therefore the presentation of Vitebsk is going to be the first step to attract guests. The tourists need to be provided with a comfortable tour package and logistics. If a group of Japanese tourists plans to stay in Belarus longer than five days or enter the country via Belarus-Russia border rather than Minsk Airport, visa support is required, too. Miyuki Kawasaka noted, though, that these details belong to the future. Now the journalists enjoying their stay in Belarus and catching their impressions on camera.

Vitebsk is the starting point of travel around Belarus. The journalists plan to visit the national park Belovezhskaya Pushcha, go on a tour to Mogilev Oblast to explore local agro-ecotourism, visit the UNESCO world heritage sites Mir Castle and Nesvizh Castle, and will finish the journey in Minsk. “The Japanese TV shows use to showcase separate foreign monuments and sites. This film is set to show what Belarus looks like. Belarus remains a ‘blank space’ for many Japanese, and this is what makes it attractive. Many Japanese seniors travel a lot but the most part of tourist destinations are threadbare. Thus, Belarus is of great interest to tourists as an offbeat destination,” Miyuki Kawasaka summarized.

 

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