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13 February 2018 → On a visa-free regime, Minsk has been visited by 84.5 thousand tourists from 68 countries

After the introduction of the visa-free regime in February 2017, Minsk has been visited by 84.5 thousand tourists from 68 countries. According to the "Minsk-Novosti" Agency correspondent, this was reported on February 13 at the board of the Sports and Tourism Department of the Minsk City Executive Committee by the Head of the Department Sergey Furmanov.

According to S. Furmanov, the largest number of tourists came from Germany (13.5 thousand), Poland (8.1 thousand), Italy (7.2 thousand), Great Britain (5.5 thousand) and the United States (5.2 thousand). The stream of passengers at the National Airport of Minsk has increased by more than 20%.

"In 2017 the volume of export of tourist services in Minsk amounted to more than 107 million US dollars, the growth rate - 136.6% to the level of 2016. All the districts of the city, which is very important, met the indicator of export of tourist services by more than 100%. The leaders in the export of tourist services were: Sovetsky District (186.9%), Partizansky District (180.6%) and Pervomaisky District (171.9%). The specific proportion of Minsk in the total volume of export of tourist services in the Republic of Belarus for the year totaled 54.6%", S. Furmanov stressed.

In 2017, from the local budget 69 thousand rubles was allocated to promote the tourist potential of the capital and fulfill the tasks of the State Program "Hospitable Belarus" for 2016-2020.

As it was noted by the specialist, for the convenience of tourists the project "The guest card of the city of Minsk" had been implemented. The validity period of the card is 1, 2 and 3 days. The card allows free entry to 11 museums and the zoo, discounts up to 50% when visiting other sites (museums, the water park), car rental, as well as in shops, hotels, restaurants, cafes. The card also includes travel in the subway (10 trips) and unlimited travel by land public transport for the validity period of the card. The possibility of giving discounts to cardholders to attend sports events is under consideration.

"The year of 2018 was officially declared the Year of Tourism of Belarus in China. The website www.minsktourism.by contains basic information about the tourist potential of the capital and visa-free regime for Chinese tourists. There have been published advertising and information materials in Chinese", S. Furmanov said. "Together with the BAES (Belarusian Association of Experts and Transport Surveyors) there have been translated the names of tourist complexes, streets and major sights of Minsk into Chinese for use in the urban navigation system".

News provided by "Minsk-Novosti" Agency

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