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Opinions & Interviews

18 Mar 2016

Belarus may relax visa regulations for countries without migration problems

Belarus may relax visa regulations for countries without migration problems

MINSK, 18 March (BelTA) – The Belarusian Sports and Tourism Ministry suggests relaxing visa regulations for citizens of the countries unaffected by migration problems, BelTA learned from Vadim Karmazin, Director of the Tourism Department of the Sports and Tourism Ministry.

According to the official, a lot has already been done in this regard. Tourists are allowed to stay in the country for three days without visas for the sake of visiting the national park Belovezhskaya Pushcha. Certain measures have been taken to attract organized tourist groups from China. Visa-free travels are now allowed between Belarus and Israel and between Belarus and Turkey. Proposals in favor of facilitating visa regulations for citizens of the countries unaffected by migration troubles have been voiced now, noted Vadim Karmazin.

In his words, relaxing visa regulations is also part of the draft government program Hospitable Belarus that will run from 2016 through 2020. The document has been forwarded for consideration of the Council of Ministers.

The draft government program lists the markets, whose tourists Belarus will try to attract. The number includes Russia, Western and Eastern Europe, China, Vietnam, Israel, and Turkey. More efforts will be put into promoting tourism opportunities in Belarus online, including via a dedicated tourism website.

Plans have been made to develop a network of tourist information centers in the regions and abroad, including at diplomatic missions and foreign representative offices of Belarusian companies. Better ways to collect statistics data will be introduced. Satellite accounts will be introduced to provide reliable data about the overall contribution of the tourism industry into the economy.

The draft government program Hospitable Belarus also suggests working out new principles and approaches to shaping and promoting the national tourism product. The creation of a smoothly operating system to control the industry is the primary task.

Apart from that, a renewed law on tourism is being prepared for the second reading.

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