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Opinions & Interviews

22 Feb 2017

Interest in Belarus soars after launch of visa-free travel

Interest in Belarus soars after launch of visa-free travel

MINSK, 22 February (BelTA) – Tourists’ interest in Belarus has increased considerably with the launch of the visa-free travel, Filip Guly, Chairman of the Board of the Belarusian Tourism Industry Union, said at a press conference To Belarus Without a Visa for Five Days: What Can We Offer to Tourists? hosted by the BelTA press center on 22 February.

“This is a chance for the tourism business to move to the next level, demonstrate the country’s openness. We hope to cooperate with the Belavia air carrier in the organization of five-day tours. Some hotels and travel agencies have met us halfway so that we could reduce the price of our tour packages to the level of those offered by competitors,” Filip Guly said.

He noted that the interest in the country has soared, particularly from the neighboring countries. For instance, tourists from Poland can make up for the drop in the number of visitors from the countries of the Commonwealth of Independent States. Minsk has considerable potential as a venue for business events and a business tourism hub.

“Five days is enough for a regular radial route, the first acquaintance with the country, a flight stopover,” the specialist believes.

Yelena Likhimovich, Deputy Director of the National Tourism Agency, said that many presentations, tours for media and travel agents are held to promote Minsk as a tourist destination. The National Tourism Agency plans to take part in ITB Berlin, the world’s largest travel trade fair in 2017.

BelTA reported earlier that the new visa-free travel regulations apply to citizens of 39 countries of Europe, including the entire European Union, as well as Brazil, Indonesia, the USA, Japan, and other countries. First of all, these are the countries without migration problems, Belarus’ strategic partners, the countries that unilaterally apply visa-free entry regulations for Belarusian citizens. Citizens of Vietnam, Haiti, Gambia, Honduras, India, China, Lebanon, Namibia, and Samoa must have a valid document for traveling abroad with a valid multiple-entry visa of one of the European Union member states or the Schengen Area member states bearing a European Union or Schengen Area entry stamp, and also tickets with a return date from Minsk National Airport.

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