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Portnoy: Launch of visa-free entry to Belarus is groundbreaking step

Society 13.02.2017 | 11:17

MINSK, 13 February (BelTA) - The launch of the visa-free entry to Belarus for the citizens of 80 states is a groundbreaking step, Belarus' Deputy Sport and Tourism Minister Mikhail Portnoy told reporters on 12 February, BelTA has learned.

“This is a groundbreaking step. This is a gesture of goodwill. The country is open. It is clear that the flow of tourists will not increase manifold in the first two or three months. We expect some 15 to 20% increase,” Mikhail Portnoy said.

According to him, to attract more tourists, the Sport and Tourism Ministry has yet to undertake a lot of marketing efforts. Meanwhile, work is now underway to inform as many potential guests as possible that Belarus is open to those who want to see the country or to start business. The deputy minister also assured that all security issues have been thoroughly worked out.

Mikhail Portnoy believes that Minsk National Airport provides all necessary comfortable conditions for travelers, including Internet, good transport connection, excursions, hotels and many more. “Of course, we cannot envisage every detail at once. We will learn and improve the process,” he assured.

In turn, head of the border control department of the State Border Committee Oleg Lyashuk noted that the airport operates according to the schedule. “We are ready for the changes. If we see a sharp inflow of tourists, we will provide additional personnel,” he said.

As for the persons whose entry to Belarus is unwanted, Oleg Lyashuk stated that the mechanism of their return has been worked out. People staying in the country for more than five days without reasonable excuse will be brought to administrative responsibility.

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