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Opinions & Interviews

25 Jul 2018

Belarus tourist arrivals up by about 20% since launch of visa-free travel

Belarus tourist arrivals up by about 20% since launch of visa-free travel

MINSK, 25 July (BelTA) – Following the launch of visa-free travel the tourist flow to Belarus has increased by about 20%, Andrei Molchan, the director of the tourism department at the Sport and Tourism Ministry, told a press briefing in BelTA’s press center on 25 July.

“We have seen an approximately 20% increase in the number of tourist arrivals. This is clearly due to the launch of visa-free travel,” Andrei Molchan said.

The extension of visa-free stay from 5 to 30 days will require refreshing the tourist infrastructure and increasing the focus on foreign language skills. Earlier the bulk of tourists came from Russia and the CIS countries. Today we should sharpen our focus on tourists from non-CIS countries. People working in the tourism industry should improve their language skills, first of all English, French and Chinese. Hotels, health farms and agro-eco tourism facilities should accept international payment cards, Andrei Molchan said.

“We also need to improve customer service and build more accommodation facilities,” he stressed.

“The latest step in Belarus’ visa policy is very, very positive. Together with our colleagues from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, law enforcement we are discussing the new steps. But it is too early to talk about them,” he noted.

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