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30 August 2019, 18:22

Patricia Crosby from Canada becomes Grodno's 80,000th visa-free visitor in 2019

GRODNO, 30 August (BelTA) – Over 80,000 tourists have visited Grodno since the beginning of the year. 28-year-old Patricia Crosby from Canada became Grodno's 80,000th visitor, BelTA has learned.

Patricia has been to Grodno before. Her boyfriend lives there. She met Vladimir in Tanzania where both worked. Today Patricia works in London and tries to visit her boyfriend more often. She says that the possibility to enter Belarus visa-free simplifies things greatly. Patricia added that it has a positive effect on the country's image and more people can see Grodno and Belarus. She confessed that she had already invited her Canadian friends to visit the Belarusian city at the weekend.

According to Patricia, everyone can have a good time in Grodno. The city boasts interesting architecture, outgoing people and delicious food. She has already tried draniki and she liked them very much. She also tells her friends about Belarusian nature which is similar to Canada's: forests and lakes where it is great to have rest in summer and play hockey in winter. Patricia would also like to attend a hockey match in Grodno.

The number of tourists in Grodno is on the rise. Since the start of the year more than 80,000 visa-free tourists from over 30 countries have visited the city and its outskirts. About 55,000 visa-free tourists came to Grodno over the same period last year. All in all, Grodno welcomed 92,000 visa-free tourists in 2018.

“It shows that our hospitable city opens up to tourists. People of all ages, from youth to the elderly, can spend great time here. It is important that the growth in tourist numbers promotes business, primarily in the services sector. Hostels, hotels, cafes, restaurants and other facilities open on a regular basis. This also brings about new jobs and tax revenue,” said Vice Mayor of Grodno City Hall Zoya Kulesha. She congratulated the guest and gave her memorable gifts.

The visa-free tourism program covers the entire Grodno District as of 1 January 2018. The guests can now arrive by road, by rail, and by air. Not long ago a decree was signed to unite Grodno and Brest visa-free zones and include new districts to the common visa-free space. Tourist groups will be able to move around the entire territory of the country's western oblasts visa-free. The decree will become valid in November 2019.

Photos by Leonid Shcheglov

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