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08 April 2022, 19:27

Government program on tourism development in Belarus' Lake District announced

BRASLAV DISTRICT, 8 April (BelTA) – It is necessary to focus on the development of domestic tourism. Prime Minister of Belarus Roman Golovchenko made the statement as he visited Braslav District, Vitebsk Oblast on 8 April, BelTA has learned.

Roman Golovchenko said: “We see an increase in domestic tourism. People are more actively visiting domestic places of interest. The fact that flights were cancelled and many countries were unavailable due to COVID-19 was a contributor. However, the trend remains strong after foreign tourism destinations became available. More people opt to travel in Belarus and it is very good. We should exploit it and support the domestic tourist.”

In his words, Braslav District is one of the most promising regions from the point of view of tourism. “There are no major industrial enterprises here or plans to build some. This region has insufficiently effective natural conditions for agriculture, insufficiently fertile soils, and highly contoured fields. This is why we need a different distinguishing feature here. Not only in Braslav District but the entire Lake District – Braslav District, Miory District, Verkhnedvinsk District, Rossony District, and so on,” the prime minister said.

Roman Golovchenko noted that various projects are being implemented recently. “As a matter of principle, a lot is being done but there is no whole picture. We've already considered the problem more than once. It is necessary to develop domestic tourism. People have to see what the country has to offer. They should travel from region to region and get familiar with places of interest in our land,” he noted.

It has been decided that a new government program has to be worked out in order to get things going in Lake District. “It will not require major investments. Opportunities are more important than money in this regard,” he noted. “We've looked at what people lack. Back in 2017 the president decreed to grant 211 sites to potential investors, who wanted to set up tourism infrastructure facilities, tourism industry in Braslav District. Only seven were used over the course of five years. In other words, an extremely small amount. It means the decision was not properly prepared.”

In particular, additional investments are needed to build utility infrastructure. Few self-employed entrepreneurs can shell out this kind of money. Additional investments are needed to compensate losses of agricultural enterprises due to the need to cut down trees and shrubs. “The document needs to be updated and offer new terms taking into account the received negative experience, terms that would allow people to use the sites and build not only farm stays bit entertainment centers, public catering outlets, and so on,” the prime minister said.

“We are going to work out this government program. Moreover, we have good experience already. We've realized several such programs, which were made upon the president's instructions. In particular, those concerning the development of the Lake Naroch area, the Augustow Canal, and the Castles of Belarus program. We have an understanding. There are many enthusiasts. The government has to help them and give a nudge to these processes. We also have to enable conditions for people to invest money in it,” the head of government noted. “The program has to be ready this year. It is supposed to be launched next year.”

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