MINSK, 22 January (BelTA) – The number of Belarus' border crossings went up by nearly 15% in 2017, BelTA learned from the State Customs Committee.
Around 25.8 million people crossed the Belarusian border in 2017 versus 22.5 million in 2016. The number of people crossing the border went up in all directions. For instance, the cross-border traffic with Ukraine surged by 15.6%, with Poland by 15.1%, with Lithuania and Latvia by 12.2% and 7.7%, respectively. The number of people crossing the Belarusian border by air saw an 18.4% increase in 2017.
About 8.6 million vehicles passed through Belarus' border checkpoints last year. “The cross-border traffic grew with all the countries: with Poland by 22.3%, Ukraine by 20.3%, Lithuania by 17.6%, Latvia by 9.7%,” the committee noted.
The five-day visa-free entry for the citizens of 80 states arriving to Belarus via the Minsk National Airport was launched on 12 February 2017, the State Customs Committee recalled. More than 79,200 foreign nationals took advantage of the visa-free entry to Belarus in 2017. The countries that sent the most visa-free tourists to Belarus 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.More about Society