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Grodno welcomes record high number of foreign tourists

Society 02.05.2017 | 18:11

GRODNO, 2 May (BelTA) – The city of Grodno and its suburbs have set a new record by welcoming about 3,000 foreign tourists in one weekend, BelTA learned from Oleg Andreichik, Head of the Sport and Tourism Office of the Grodno Oblast Executive Committee.

Last weekend Grodno and the suburbs welcomed about 3,000 foreign tourists, including about 2,000 tourists, who opted to visit the Augustow Canal Park without visas. The oblast capital is part of the park's visa-free travel area.

It is a new record, said the official. In the past the city and the surrounding area attracted only about 1,000 foreign visitors. “We are also happy about the positive things visitors say about what they see here,” noted Oleg Andreichik. He attributed the record-high visitor figures to the beginning of the active tourism season. A picnic to celebrate Belarusian cuisine was arranged at the Augustow Canal from Saturday through Monday. Various kinds of events — sport ones, cultural ones, musical, and entertainment ones — will be arranged every week here.

The Belarusian-Polish seasonal border checkpoint Lesnaya-Rudawka opened at the Augustow Canal on 29 April. Tourists, who hike, ride bicycles, or travel by river, will be able to use the checkpoint. Several yachts as well as dozens of canoeists and bicyclists have already crossed the border. The development of infrastructure for bicyclists continues, with new routes being arranged and existing routes being improved.

Oleg Andreichik said that nearly two dozens of new tourist routes had been developed in Grodno's surrounding area lately. Those routes are intended for hikers, bicyclists, cars, buses, and even water transport. “We are glad that not only government agencies but private travel agencies are busy developing them,” noted the official.

Belarus president decree No.318 came into force on 26 October 2016 to allow foreign tourists to visit the tourism and recreation park Augustow Canal without visas. The regulations allow foreign tourists to stay in the park and the nearby populated localities in Grodno District and Grodno proper without visas for five days. Since the decree came into force, over 12,000 people from 56 countries have used the opportunity.

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