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10 October 2019, 11:27

Opinion: International forum will help promote Belarus as tourist destination

Valeria Klitsunova. Archive photo
Valeria Klitsunova. Archive photo

MINSK, 10 October (BelTA) – Belarus might host an international agro-ecotourism forum in 2020. The forum will give Belarus an opportunity to demonstrate its tourism industry to the world, BelTA learned from Valeria Klitsunova, the head of the Belarusian Association of Rural and Ecotourism “Country Escape”.

“Belarus will have a chance to increase its visibility as a tourist destination,” Valeria Klitsunova said. The forum was discussed with UN World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) Secretary General Zurab Pololikashvili during the 2nd European Games in Minsk. However, the date has not been set yet. The parties considered holding the forum in April-May.

All in all, there are around 2,500 rural tourism estates in Belarus. The country has achieved considerable success in agro-ecotourism. Belarus is a two-time winner of the Agrotourism category of the National Geographic Traveler Awards. Winners were decided through online voting on the website of the National Geographic Russia magazine.

The year 2020 was declared the Year of Agro-Ecotourism by UNWTO. Belarus could share its experience in developing rural tourism with other countries. According to Belarus' National Statistics Committee, Belarusian rural tourism estates welcomed 422,300 foreigners in 2018 (351,100 in 2017). On average, guests spent five days in an estate.

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