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Almost 80,000 tourist arrivals in Belarus under visa-free program in 2017

Society 11.01.2018 | 17:23
An Italian visa-free tourist Ricardo Bianchi
An Italian visa-free tourist Ricardo Bianchi

MINSK, 11 January (BelTA) – More than 79,200 foreign nationals took advantage of the visa-free entry to Belarus in 2017, BelTA learned from the State Customs Committee.

The countries that sent the most visa-free tourists to Belarus in 2017 were Germany (12,700), Poland (nearly 7,600), and Italy (over 6,700).

All in all, in 2017 Belarus welcomed visa-free tourists from 65 countries, including such exotic ones as Panama, Nicaragua, and Antigua and Barbuda.

The Belarus president's Decree No.8 “On the introduction of the visa-free entry and departure for foreign citizens” came into force on 12 February 2017. The document launched the five-day visa-free entry for the citizens of 80 states arriving to Belarus via the Minsk National Airport.

At the end of 2017, Alexander Lukashenko signed another decree to extend the duration of visa-free stay to ten days for foreign visitors to the Augustow Canal and the Brest tourist and recreation zone (Belovezhskaya Pushcha, Brest, Brest District, Zhabinki Districy, Kamenets District, and Pruzhany District of Brest Oblast, and also Svisloch District of Grodno Oblast).

The Belarusian government has come up with proposals on further visa liberalization. They are meant to extend the duration of visa and registration-free stay for foreign nationals coming to Belarus via the Minsk National Airport. The government also plans to take some extra measures to facilitate the entry to Belarus during the 2019 European Games. The authorities are also considering launching the visa-free program for non-immigrant visitors from several countries at every international border checkpoint in Belarus in the future.

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