MINSK, 1 November (BelTA) – Israel made it to the top 8 tourism source markets for Belarus in H1 2017, trailing only Russia, Austria, China, Germany, Poland, Turkey, and Switzerland, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of Belarus to Israel Vladimir Skvortsov said in an interview with the IsraGeo magazine, BelTA has learned.
“Belarus maintains cooperation in tourism with over 120 countries and has international agreements with more than 30 of them. Such a coordination mechanism as joint tourism committees is actively used in relations with a number of states. Back in the day, this format was put in place by Belarus and Israel, too. By the way, Israel made it to the top 10 countries that sent the most tourists to Belarus in 2016,” Vladimir Skvortsov remarked.
In his words, although Belarus is not a classical tourist destination with a sea and mountains, the country has several specific advantages ensuring a remarkable potential for the development of this sector.
“This is about the country's advantageous geographical location, natural, historical, and cultural resources. Tourism has a big impact on the domestic economy: the national income grows; the country creates more jobs, develops its domestic infrastructure, and preserves the historical and cultural heritage. This is why in Belarus in the focus of the government as one of the high-priority fields of Belarus' social and economic development,” the ambassador noted.
Vladimir Skvortsov also pointed out that the growing interest of foreign guests in Belarus is due in no small part to the country's proximity to Western Europe, the Baltic states, Russia, and Poland, which helps develop cross-border tourism.
“As many tourists are attracted by Belarus' picturesque nature and landmarks, including those added to the UNESCO World Heritage List. Foreign tourists mention some other crucial advantages, namely the Belarusian hospitality and friendliness, the domestic stability, the absence of ethnic tensions, and the high level of personal safety, which our foreign guests say they feel in our country,” the ambassador added.
Israeli citizens are interested in Belarus' tourist attractions, recreation facilities, places of worship, monuments dating back to the Great Patriotic War, and also places related to more than six centuries of Belarusians and Jews living together, the ambassador emphasized.More about Society