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Opinions & Interviews

14 Feb 2019

Visa waiver, nature hailed as competitive advantages of Belarus’ health resorts

Visa waiver, nature hailed as competitive advantages of Belarus’ health resorts

MYADEL DISTRICT, 14 February (BelTA) –  Belarusian health resorts need to make the most of the country’s environmental and recuperation resources and the visa waiver to increase export of their services, Gennady Bolbatovsky, director of the Belarusian national center of health resort treatment and recuperation, told BelTA.

The main goal for 2019 is to ensure full and affordable access to health recuperation and wellness services for Belarusian citizens. “Increasing export is another priority. We pin great hopes on the visa-free program as we are working to diversify the export. It is no secret that our main foreign market is Russia. We hope to see more customers from other countries in our health resorts,” Gennady Bolbatovsky said. According to him, health resorts in Grodno Oblast and Brest Oblast reported an increase in the number of foreign customers. For example, health resorts located in the visa-free zone of Grodno Oblast increased the export of services more than twofold.

With the period of visa-free stay extended, Augustow Canal – Belovezhskaya Pushcha zone is set to welcome more visitors from abroad. “Of course, we will be developing the programs that are most popular with  western customers, namely spa programs. More than 30 resorts have shifted their focus to these services and three have obtained international certificates. With all the conditions in place, we will focus on making the maximum use of natural therapeutic factors,” Gennady Bolbatovsky said.

2018 was a good year for the industry: it performed steadily; the average annual occupancy rate was approximately 80%. Sales of voucher programs rose by more than 21%. Exports also went up by more than 13% to $193 million. This is not counting the participation of guests in sightseeing programs, shopping.

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