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01 October 2021, 11:01

Belarus, Tunisia seek closer cooperation in sport, tourism

MINSK, 1 October (BelTA) – Belarusian Sport and Tourism Minister Sergei Kovalchuk met with Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of Tunisia to Belarus Tarek Ben Salem on 1 October. The parties expressed intention to continue cooperation in sport and tourism, BelTA learned from the Belarusian Sport and Tourism Ministry.

The minister said that sports federations of the two countries have been maintaining cooperation in the sport sector. “Our countries support each other. We jointly participate in international events. We have a lot in common, but there is no legal framework both in sport and in tourism. I think that these are the areas that we need to work out to make contacts closer,” said Sergei Kovalchuk. He also singled out two main types of tourism most developed in Belarus - medical tourism and agro-ecotourism.

Tarek Ben Salem noted that cooperation between Belarus and Tunisia has recently strengthened. “I have presented my credentials to the Belarusian president. The official ceremony was unique. Aleksandr Lukashenko spoke about cooperation between Tunisia and Belarus. Particular attention was paid to healthcare and agriculture, but of course we can develop cooperation in other areas as well, including sport and tourism. Tunisia is going through difficult political times at present. We have not built new sport facilities since 2011. As for the sport sector, your leading athletes are an example for us,” he said.

Attending the meeting was Honorary Consul of Belarus in Tunisia Sergei Sidorsky who urged to support domestic travel agencies at the level of the Tunisian government. “It is possible to offer our sport facilities for athletes from Tunisia. In my opinion, there are two main areas which are to invite athletes from Tunisia to our country and outline tourism options,” said Sergei Sidorsky.

Some 4,000 Belarusians spent their holidays in Tunisia in 2018, 15,000 - in 2019. At the start of 2021, 40,000 Belarusians booked rooms in Tunisia hotels. Belarus and Tunisia agreed that this market has a huge potential for both tourists and representatives of local tourist business.

According to Sergei Kovalchuk, contacts between the countries in tourism and sport should reach a new level. “We need to work out a mechanism of interaction and actively develop bilateral cooperation,” the minister said.

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