MINSK, 10 October (BelTA) – Foreign tourists, especially Russians, choose Belarusian rural tourism estates as a holiday destination more and more often, BelTA learned from Valeria Klitsunova, the head of the Belarusian Association of Rural and Ecotourism “Country Escape”.
In general, around 85-90% of guests are from Belarus. “This is a common tendency in all countries. However, we want to promote Belarus as a tourist destination and we have seen growing numbers of foreign tourists. We are happy that tour operators have started to include rural estates in their tours. Agro-ecotourism is Belarus' specialty and we should promote it,” Valeria Klitsunova noted.
Rural tourism estates have already welcomed visitors from over 70 countries, including Russia, Poland, Lithuania, Latvia, Germany, the US, the UK, Israel, the Philippines, New Zealand, and Australia. “We focus on creativity, because tourists search for new experience and want to see something unique. Owners of estates let their imagination fly,” Valeria Klitsunova said.
So far, the most unusual ideas have been to create a corn maze, to organize river trips in drakkars (viking ships), or to invite guests to bake bread or make paper. Moreover, a lot of estates are friendly to people with disabilities.
Tourist complexes get united in clusters. Such clusters operate in Volozhin District, Glubokoye District, Kobrin District, and Shchuchin District. “This way one brand promotes travel services of a whole region. Local authorities support this approach, because it has yielded results,”Valeria Klitsunova added.
Belarus annually holds a contest for the best rural tourism estate. This year's contest has become part of the national tourism project Explore Belarus. Rural tourism estates will compete in three categories.
All in all, there are around 2,500 rural tourism estates in Belarus.