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Opinions & Interviews

15 Jul 2016

Belarus’ Sports Ministry suggests easing registration procedure for foreign tourists

Belarus’ Sports Ministry suggests easing registration procedure for foreign tourists

POLOTSK, 15 July (BelTA) – The Belarusian Sports and Tourism Ministry suggests easing the procedure for the registration of foreign tourists with a citizenship and migration department, Belarusian Deputy Sports and Tourism Minister Mikhail Portnoi said at a meeting of the Interagency Expert Coordination Council for Tourism at the Council of Ministers, BelTA has learned.

“We discussed the matter with the Interior Minister, and we will put forward suggestions,” Mikhail Portnoi said. He pointed out that the current procedure for registration of foreign nationals is not very convenient for tourists traveling independently, who are forced to interrupt their itinerary to pay a visit to a citizenship and migration department. “It frequently happens that these departments have no signs in English. Tourists get lost and cannot translate the document,” Mikhail Portnoi said. Questions arise about how to pay the fee which is to be collected by a bank, when sometimes there are no bank offices in the neighborhood.

Mikhail Portnoi noted that an average stay in Belarus is five days, which is equal to the period that tourists can stay in the country without getting registered. An exception is made for Russians who can stay for 90 days, and also for Lithuanians, Latvians, Ukrainians and Kazakhs who are allowed to spend up to 30 days in Belarus without registration.

Mikhail Portnoi emphasized that the issue should be addressed keeping in mind the positions of ministries and agencies responsible for ensuring security in the country. “Security should remain an unconditional priority. Still, the registration procedure should be reviewed as soon as possible,” the Deputy Sports and Tourism Minister believes.

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