MINSK, 13 April (BelTA) - Belarus is one of the most popular destinations among Russian travelers, Deputy Minister of Economic Development of the Russian Federation Dmitry Volvach said in a video address to the first Russian-Belarusian tourism congress in Minsk, BelTA has learned.
"The tourism industry is an important factor in the economic development of Russia and Belarus. Our countries share historical and cultural heritage and have a large number of landmarks and places to visit and recreate. From year to year, tourist exchanges between Russia and Belarus have been steadily growing," Dmitry Volvach said.
According to him, Belarus is now one of the most popular destinations among Russian travelers. "According to experts, the tourist flow from Russia to Belarus began to grow in May 2022: bookings increased three times over 2021. In total, according to the Russian statistics agency Rosstat, 126,000 tourist trips were made from Belarus to Russia in 2022, which was 68,000 more than a year earlier. The pre-pandemic figure of 143,000 trips in 2019 has not yet been reached. But, I am sure, we will hit this mark this year," he added.
Dmitry Volvach stressed that tourist trips to Belarus are becoming more attractive and more comfortable. "The transport infrastructure is highly developed: the number of weekly flights between Minsk and Moscow has been increased to 63, and the Lastochka train service was launched on 30 April 2021. In Belarus, Russian Mir cards are accepted everywhere, and in Russia it is possible to make purchases using the Belarusian payment system Belkard," the deputy minister said.
The first Russian-Belarusian tourism congress is running in Minsk on April 13-14. It focuses on the interaction between Belarus and Russia in tourism, tourism business and the ideas for the further development of the tourism industry of the two states. The congress has been organized by the Russian Union of Travel Industry with the support of the Belarusian National Union of Tourism Industry.