MINSK, 20 February (BelTA) - Tourism exchange between Belarus and Israel has been growing, Andrei Molchan, the director of the tourism department at the Sport and Tourism Ministry, said as he met with journalists of National Geographic Israel in Minsk on 20 February, BelTA has learned.
“We are happy to have close relations with Israel in many areas, including tourism. Today, all the conditions are in place to boost tourism exchange between our countries. In this connection Belarus has been working actively to create most favorable conditions for tourists from Israel. Of course, first and foremost, Israeli visitors see Belarus as a nostalgic tourism destination. But I would like Belarus to be more than that for our guests from Israel,” said Andrei Molchan.
Belarus is known for affordable medical tourism programs. “We do not consider Israel as our competitor in the tourism market. On the contrary the cooperation between our countries in tourism is mutually complementary. First of all I am talking about the seasonality of our tourism exchange: when there is a hot summer in Israel, we invite you to get away to Belarus for holidays on the cool lake shore or in a forest landscape. When it is cold winter in Belarus, we are always happy to come to you,” Andrei Molchan said.
According to him, the visa free travel agreement and availability of direct air service have created good opportunities for the development of tourism. “The official authorities maintain a very close dialogue. We have set up a bilateral committee on cooperation in tourism to discuss the issues we are concerned with. I hope that our cooperation will continue to develop very successfully,” Andrei Molchan said.
National Geographic Israel journalists are in Belarus on a press tour on 14-21 February. An article will be published in National Geographic Israel following the visit.