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Opinions & Interviews

2 Apr 2018

Tourist traffic from China to Belarus may go up by 20% in 2018

Tourist traffic from China to Belarus may go up by 20% in 2018

MINSK, 2 April (BelTA) – The flow of Chinese tourists to Belarus may grow by 20% by the end of 2018, Belarusian Deputy Sports and Tourism Minister Mikhail Portnoi told journalists in BelTA press center on 2 April.

“By the end of the year, we will enable the conditions for this target audience and increase the flow of Chinese tourists at least by 20%,” Mikhail Portnoi said.

He recalled that 2018 has been declared the China-Belarus Year of Tourism. “This topic is very relevant. The Chinese are one of the most well-traveled nations in the world. Last year, around 1.2 million Chinese tourists visited Russia which had launched a visa-free program for tourist groups from this country (St Petersburg and Moscow account for 80% of this traffic). If we do some good work together with our Russian partners on mutual visa-free agreements, we will be able to attract 10% of this traffic. This will give a lot to our economy,” the official believes.

In his words, the action plan of the Belarus-China Year of Tourism includes the tasks to develop tourism infrastructure and train specialists, and some other measures meant to increase the tourist traffic.

For instance, Belarus’ tourism potential will go on show at four expos in China. In April-May, a press tour will be arranged for Chinese journalists. China-based tour operators are set to make a fact-finding visit to the country in July.

“The Belarusian Interior Ministry is working on mutual visa-free travel for the citizens of our countries. The National Bank continues the optimization of payments via China UnionPay cards,” Mikhail Portnoit added.

The Education Ministry and the National Tourism Agency are training and examinating Chinese guides-translators. As many as 15 specialists have been attested so far.

The oblast capitals and Minsk are working on convenient conditions for Chinese citizens: Chinese versions of websites, Chinese-speaking receptionists, free Wi-Fi, an international Chinese TV Channel, travel brochures about hotels in Chinese, and other things.

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