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Belarus' visa-free visitors mostly German tourists

Society 22.02.2017 | 17:36

MINSK, 22 February (BelTA) – German tourists make up the majority of visa-free travelers to Belarus, Mikhail Portnoy, Belarusian Deputy Minister of Sports and Tourism, said during the final session of the board of the sport and tourism department of the Brest Oblast Executive Committee, BelTA has learned.

The number of foreigners entering Belarus through Minsk National Airport has already exceeded 1,500 since the launch of visa-free entry. German tourists have made up the majority so far, followed by Polish, Italian and UK citizens. “The number of tourists has already grown. Now we are gathering information, studying target markets, learning where the tourists come from. First-comers to Belarus and business tourists prevail for now,” said the deputy minister.

Mikhail Portnoy underlined the country's great tourism potential that should be realized as much as possible in all regions. “There is a promising segment of cultural and informative tourism in Belarus. Agro- and ecotourism, hunting and gastronomic tourism are well developed. So is sports infrastructure. We aspire to create an industry of hospitality and to treat tourists like our most important guests,” Mikhail Portnoy said.

The deputy minister also noted that Brest, being a border town, should take a better advantage of its tourism potential. “We will analyze how the visa-free entry operates for citizens of 80 countries, see the results of the five-day visa-free travel to the Augustow Canal and see where to move forward. We will be opening land border checkpoints for visa-free travelers but gradually. The country's security comes first,” Mikhail Portnoy noted.

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