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02 August 2019, 15:51

Belarus' tourism bill to be finalized by autumn

MINSK, 2 August (BelTA) – The draft law On Tourism will be finalized taking into consideration all remarks and proposals received during its public hearings and submitted to the Council of Ministers before the end of August, Director of the Tourism Department of the Sport and Tourism Ministry of Belarus Andrei Molchan told the media on 2 August, BelTA has learned.

The public hearings of the bill were held on 12-28 July. “Over the time we have received a huge number of comments, remarks and proposals. We have gathered them all together and are beginning to work with them. Today a consensus session will take place with the participation of government bodies. The Public Advisory Council is set to meet at the end of next week,” Andrei Molchan said.

Asked on when the document will be submitted to the parliament, the head of the department noted: “We will finalize it by late August. Then, the appropriate procedures will follow. We will coordinate the final document with the government bodies and submit it to the Council of Ministers, the Presidential Administration.”

The draft law envisages a new mechanism to protect tourists' rights in Belarus, such as financial guarantees. The tour operator will have three options to choose from. These are a bank guarantee, liability insurance and participation in financing a joint fund. The new document separates liabilities of the tour operator and the travel agent, expands the functions of the tourist register, bans the organization of excursions in Belarus without national attestation certificates.

The draft law describes the rules of concluding agreements in writing and electronic forms, specifies some definitions and introduces new terms.

The new document defines main principles, goals and priorities in the state regulation of the tourism sector, outlines executive officers and agencies. The bill also envisages the possibility of concluding an agreement on tourism services in the form of a smart contract.

The draft bill adjusts approaches to state programs in tourism, the activity of tourism and information centers.

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