A preliminary registration for the purchase of a guest card (MinskCard) becomes available at www.minskpass.by on December 26, Boris Vasilyev, Director of the UE "Mingorspravka", told the "Minsk-Novosti" Agency.
The guest card is of three types: for 24, 48 and 72 hours. The prices are quite loyal: 45, 60 and 78 rubles respectively. At the moment, 3,000 copies have been produced - 1,000 each.
For the time being the site will work in test mode. Tourists will be able to use the guest card in January, after the organizers and partners of the project have worked out the coordination of actions in real time.
Those potential tourists who will quickly make their decision will get some bonuses: those who make a preliminary order for the card before January 10, 2018 a 10-percent discount will be provided. And those who make a preliminary order for two cards before this date will receive an additional 5% discount. Guest cards can be activated within 12 months after their purchase. Those who are willing to purchase guest cards have only to enter their e-mail address in order to learn just in time about the start of sales and get a discount coupon.
What is it needed for?
The "Guest Card" project is implemented on behalf of the Minsk City Executive Committee by the UE "Mingorspravka" with the support of the information and tourist center "Minsk". Now, as in many cities around the world, tourists can visit various museums and go on excursions in Minsk and its surroundings with the help of a single electronic card, use advantageous offers from many shops, cafes and restaurants, hotels, get other bonuses and discounts.
The "Guest Card" package will include a plastic smart card and a guidebook in the form of a pocket-size book of about 150 pages. It contains brief information about the establishments included in the project in Russian and English, their sites, addresses, phone numbers, places on the map and even GPS coordinates. The holder of the card will be able to visit the museums and excursions included in the program once for free or at a discount, as well as receive discounts from other project partners according to the conditions specified in the guidebook and on the website www.minskpass.by. Discounts and special offers of hotels and shops are valid even after the expiration date of the guest card.
"In September, when we presented the project as a promising one, we were planning to include 5 museums and 3 theaters in the guest card," B. Vasiliev said. "But later on many organizations decided to join it. Today there are 70 establishments in the program, including 35 museums, complexes and their branches located not only in the capital, but also beyond its borders," he added.
In addition to museums, a guest card provides for visits, with discounts or for free, to the zoo, the water park, the observation deck of the National Library, two sightseeing bus tours around the city. The project also involves 14 hotel complexes, restaurants, cafes, retail shops, firms providing car and bicycle rental services.
"We believe that many tourists who are going to book guest cards through the website will wish to visit some cultural establishments that are popular among foreigners and that are located outside the capital," said Alexander Shifrin, Chief Specialist of the UE "Mingorspravka". "Using a guest card, they can rent a car with a good discount. By the way, the hotels that work with us, as part of the project, also provide services at prices below some popular hotel booking sites."
Experts note that in the near future guest card options will be possible: for example, separately for Minsk and its surroundings, as well as for 5 and 7 days.
"But first we need to analyze the information about the establishments that are most often visited by using a guest card: thanks to cooperation with leading sociologists and modern software, we will take into account the preferences of tourists in order to further effectively develop the project," A. Shifrin emphasized.
How it works
In a museum or on an excursion
The card starts to operate from the moment of the first visit to the museum or excursion. It is activated by means of an electronic scan of the QR code. After that, the cardholder must enter the date and time of the first visit. In this way it will be easier for a tourist to control the expiration of its validity.
Details on the rules of using the guest card will be told by sellers at points of sale, and they can also be studied on the website or in the guide-book.
"In case of unforeseen situations which we hope will not occur the phone number is indicated on the card, according to which it is possible to call around the clock. The reply will be given by an expert who speaks foreign languages," assured B. Vasiliev.
The guest card is at the same time an electronic ticket for public transport in the city. But there are special features here. If on ground transport such a ticket gives the right for unlimited travel during the validity period of the card (1, 2, 3 days), then in the metro 10 trips can be made without keeping to the validity of the card.
Besides, one must bear in mind that the registration of the travel ticket is made at the points of sale of the guest card and does not depend on its activation in museums or on excursions. It should be born in mind that the validity of the travel ticket begins at 00:00 irrespective of the time when it was sold. However if the client comes to the point of sale at the end of the day, he or she can ask for the ticket to be registered so that it can be valid since the next day.
Where it can be purchased
* One can make an order at an internet shop through the website www.minskpass.by and get the guest card at the point of delivery which must be indicated when the order is made.
* It can be purchased at one of the points of sale: at the info-kiosk pavilion of the UE "Mingorspravka" at 2a Svobody Street, at the info-kiosk pavilion of the UE "Mingorspravka" at 5 Prevokzalnaya Square; at the information and tourist centre "Minsk" located at 13 Revolutsionnaya Street.
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