Belarus will see an increase in the tourist flow as a result of its five-day visa-free program in 2018, Chairman of the Board of the National Union of Tourist Industry Filipp Guly said during a video briefing, BelTA has learned.
According to him, thanks to the visa-program the geography of foreign tourists has expanded. “We see the demand and the growth. The only thing is that these have been mainly solo active tourists so far. We see a lot of businessmen, and visitors who come here not for tourism purposes only. We will see organized groups a little later because people plan their vacations a year ahead. So do travel operators,” he noted.
Filipp Guly explained that by mid-July Belarusian travel operators presented their proposals for 2018-2019. “I mean that at the spring exhibitions held abroad, Belarusian tour companies traded their tours for 2018. So we will start to see the results as from April next year. So far, those who have had the opportunity to add our country to their organized travel programs already took advantage of this. But the main growth will come only next year,” he said.
The five-day visa-free program facilitates the development of relations with Lithuania and Latvia, the expert continued. This year has seen an increase in the number of Australian tourists and tour groups from Israel. And these have been classical tourism, not nostalgic, ethnographic or religious, Filipp Guly noted.
“Since Belarus' visa-free program is tied to the air service, it makes sense to think over radial tours. It is when people arrive in Minsk and go sightseeing around the city during five days. We can arrange military-patriotic, ethnographic, natural, cultural and castle sightseeing programs around the capital city and offer tours to explore the capital itself,” Filipp Guly added.