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24 March 2023, 13:22

Belarus experiencing surge in domestic tourism

Igor Petrishenko
Igor Petrishenko

MINSK, 24 March (BelTA) – Domestic tourism is experiencing a boom; all kinds of tourist activities are burgeoning in all regions of the country, Belarus' Deputy Prime Minister Igor Petrishenko told reporters prior to the meeting of the Interdepartmental Expert and Coordination Council for Tourism under the Council of Ministers of Belarus, BelTA has learned.

“The COVID-19 gave a boost to domestic tourism, we saw a surge in domestic travels. We have a good infrastructure, and it is being refurbished to better cater to the needs of travelers. Everything has been done for a more comfortable traveling experience,” said Igor Petrishenko.

The domestic tourism industry is not seriously impacted by seasonality. All types of tourism are gaining ground in the country, including industrial tourism, medical tourism, recuperation tourism, and educational tourism. “Last year, we stepped up efforts to promote tourism in all regions, in particular, a tourism promotion structure was set up in each district. Tourism is a contributor to the gross regional product. We are also implementing new initiatives in each region in order to attract both domestic tourists and tourists from friendly nations, primarily the Russian Federation, Uzbekistan and other CIS countries, as well as China. Our delegations take part in various events and exhibitions in Russian regions to get Russian tourists interested in discovering Belarus. The launch of new flights - to Ufa and Nizhny Novgorod – are expected to bring in more tourists from Russia,” the deputy prime minister noted.

Recreation and recuperation tours are in demand. “Even during the pandemic, our health resorts operated at about 70% of their capacity. This year, the figure is 90%, it is going to be even higher in the summer season. We are improving the material infrastructure. People enjoy coming to our health resorts, because here they can get the widest range of services. Medical tourism is also on the rise. Its popularity is attributed to the great price/quality ratio of healthcare services in Belarus. Those who have been here spread the word about us when they come back home,” Igor Petrishenko noted.

Last year, 15 new heritage sites were added to the State List of Historical and Cultural Values of the Republic of Belarus. It features more than 5,000 items now. These are places of attraction for Belarusians and foreigners.

Historical tourism is another centerpiece of our efforts to promote domestic tourism. The Prosecutor General's Office, together with the Education Ministry, created 315 museum expositions about the genocide of the Belarusian people during the Great Patriotic War.

On the last Wednesday of each month museums offer free admissions for school students and students of vocational training schools. The number of visitors from September to December 2022 amounted to 81,000. According to Igor Petrishenko, free admissions will remain in place.

He invited everyone to visit the Leisure 2023 tourism exhibition that is due to take place in Minsk on 13-15 April.

The Interdepartmental Expert and Coordination Council for Tourism under the Council of Ministers of Belarus is an advisory body that brings together representatives of government agencies, public associations, and travel agencies. The council develops various proposals to support and promote the domestic tourism industry. The council runs 17 working groups; each of them is responsible for certain types of tourism: rural tourism, culinary tourism, heritage tourism, educational tourism, industrial tourism and others.

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