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22 August 2019, 18:32

Number of visa-free tourists to Brest Oblast almost doubles

BREST, 22 August (BelTA) – The number of tourists visiting Brest Oblast visa-free has almost doubled over a year, Brest Oblast Governor Anatoly Lis told a press conference on 22 August, BelTA has learned.

“A total of 38,000 foreigners visited the oblast under Belarus' visa-free program contributing $2 million to the budget. This year visitor numbers have almost doubled in comparison with 2018,” Anatoly Lis said. Decree No.300 on uniting the visa-free zones of Brest Oblast and Grodno Oblast will surely add a new impetus to incoming tourism.

The governor connected an increase in the number of tourists with Brest's 1,000th anniversary celebrations. In his words, foreigners are mostly attracted by event tourism (sports competitions and festivals). Many natural sites of the region are also considered exclusive in Europe where people love eco-tourism. Apart from the Belovezhskaya Pushcha and Pripyat Polesye the region is home to more than 50 wildlife reserves. Tourist camps, including for caravanners, are developed across the region. About 60 eco bike routes have been worked out in Brest Oblast. A new cluster form is evolving in the agro-tourism which unites farmsteads with tourism industry facilities of six districts into one tourist product.

“However, only 33% of foreign visitors applied for Brest travel agencies. This means we need to develop a new efficient system of information tourist centers, open representations of our travel agencies abroad and those of the foreign ones here,” Anatoly Lis said.

He added that the Brest Oblast has a well-developed tourist infrastructure. Over 800,000 tourists visit the region annually. Of them 280,000 come from abroad. Last year the region earned $14.9 million in the export of tourist services.

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