Published on : Tuesday, January 17, 2017
Belarus, a country known for long due to its chilly winters, and famously dubbed as the “last dictatorship” in Europe, and former Soviet republic where the KGB is still known as KGB, is thinking sincerely to revamp its tourism sector. It’s a country where people still work on collective farms and at state-owned vodka companies, and the WHO says that it has the highest rate of alcohol consumption in the world. With its new increased awareness for tourism, it could very well become the continent’s hottest tourist hotspot. It was announced by the press service of the president of Belarus this week that visa-free travel was being established for citizens of 80 countries, which includes the US and the European Union. The rules will apply to people who arrive at the Minsk National Airport and will cover a five-day stay in the country. The rules will come into effect next month.
According to official Vitaly Gritsevich, “The Belarusian Sport and Tourism Ministry expects that the number of tourist arrivals will go up by 20%.” He said that they are expecting the initial number of tourists from Europe, North America and the Persian Gulf. The official said that they are planning to work with the UNWTO for updating Belarus’s tourism brand in the global level. In the expectation of Western tourists, Minsk’s subway may begin airing English-language announcements, as it did earlier when tourists came for the 2014 ice hockey world championships. Local tourism authorities have also recently published a promotional booklet on tourism in eight languages. To quote Irina Gordiyenko, the head of marketing at the National Tourism Agency, “We wanted to convey the atmosphere of tranquility, cleanliness, comfort and total absence of haste.” She said that these qualities are noticed by foreign tourists when they visit a country.