MINSK, 1 June (BelTA) – The tourism and recreation park Augustow Canal has welcomed some 17,000 visa-free tourists from 60 countries since Decree No.318 came into force, Oleg Andreichik, the head of the sports and tourism office of the Grodno Oblast Executive Committee, said at the meeting of the interagency coordinating council on tourism at Belarus' Council of Ministers on 1 June, BelTA has learned.
“Around 17,000 tourists from 60 countries have taken advantage of the opportunity to visit the recreation park Augustow Canal visa-free since 26 October 2016. The number is projected to reach 50,000 by the year-end 2017,” Oleg Andreichik said.
As many as 64 travel agencies now offer services in the Augustow Canal area, while the number used to stand at 11. A total of 431 people have used the Lesnaya-Rudawka border checkpoint that was opened for pedestrian and cycling tourists in a pilot mode on 28 April 2017.
Resolution No.170 of the Grodno Oblast Executive Committee of 8 April 2016 approved a plan of action to develop the tourism and recreation park Augustow Canal in 2016-2020. “Plans have been made to set up 30 tourist routes, build 25 farmsteads and other accommodation facilities by 2020. We expect to attract 100,000 tourists annually, and renovate more than 30 kilometers of roads,” Oleg Andreichik specified.
Decree No.318 allowing foreign tourists to enter the tourism and recreation park Augustow Canal visa-free came into force on 26 October 2016. The document permits foreign nationals to stay in the park, the nearby towns and villages of Grodno Oblast, and the city of Grodno without a visa for up to five days.More about Society