MINSK, 10 January (BelTA) – A ceremony to open the Year of Tourism of Belarus in China took place in China's Chongqing during the tourism forum “Belarus Welcomes China” on 10 January, BelTA learned from the Belarusian Embassy in Beijing.
During the event, Belarus' Deputy Sport and Tourism Minister Mikhail Portnoi read out a message of greetings from Deputy Prime Minister Vasily Zharko. Humanitarian cooperation and tourism have a special place in the bilateral relations, said Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of Belarus to China Kirill Rudy. They bring the nations closer together, strengthen trust, and lay a good groundwork for intergovernmental relations, he added. The Belarus-China Year of Tourism is expected to form a positive background to promote Belarus' tourism opportunities in China and boost two-way tourism.
Belarus and China have enjoyed friendly and partner relations for a quarter of a century, Minsk Oblast Deputy Governor Viktor Sirenko noted. Minsk Oblast is twinned with Chongqing, and the relations between the two regions are strengthening year by year. The sides have an interest in implementing joint initiatives and projects.
The forum drew together Belarus' and China's major tourism companies and saw a presentation of the tourism potential of Belarus and Minsk Oblast. A memorandum on cooperation in tourism was signed between Minsk Oblast and Chongqing during the event, too.
The Kupalinka folk group of the Belarusian State Philharmonic, the winner of international contests and festivals, gave a concert as part of the cultural program. On 10-11 January, Chongqing is expected to host a concert dedicated to the Year of Tourism, an exhibition of modern Belarusian photography, and the inauguration of a made-in-Belarus shop.More about Society