Nearly 6,000 foreigners have visited Belarus without visas. We are talking about cross-border tourism, especially in the Belovezhskaya Pushcha and Augustow Canal. Guests visit Belarus mainly from Latvia, Lithuania, Estonia, the UK, Spain and the United States.
Ekaterina Romantsevich, tourist from Latvia:
We will surely come back. We have promised our daughter and we will invite some friends. In terms of logistics, you still have some work to do.
Maria Shchukina, tourist from Latvia:
What hospitable people! We were met well in the hotel. They try to create all conditions for us, since we are newcomers.
More than 4,000 tourists crossed the border within the Belovezhskaya Pushcha in 2016. Most of them are of course Poles, Lithuanians and Latvians.
Piotr Butrim, CTV:
Foreign guests are attracted not only by the relic forest, but also by its inhabitants. The main attraction is the bison. In this place, tourists can see them in natural conditions. The main thing is not to make loud sounds, to avoid scaring the beast.
Anatoly Vishnevsky, chief specialist of the Tourism National Park "Bialowieza Forest":
Each season, the specifics of travel is different. For example, in the spring, people come for ornithological tours (tourists come to us to listen to birds singing). In the summer the main reasons is probably cycling, while those coming in autumn want to listen to the roar of the deer. In winter, tourists come to Belarusian Father Frost.
The western border of Belarus is open for visitors from far abroad too. Spaniard Rafael came to lecture at the University of Grodno. He has already seen the architecture and met with national cuisine. He says he loved soups the most. For now he is here under a working visa. But Rafael says he would come to Belarus as a tourist too. And more than once.
Rafael Tirado, Professor of Slavic Philology of the University of Granada (Spain):
As a person who lives in the European Union, the most valuable thing for me is the fact that the borders have disappeared.That's an amazing feeling when you come into the country and you do not have to go through here these all procedures.
The same feeling is when you come, for example, to France or Portugal. You notice that the only difference is a foreign language.
Sasha Mazilis, a tourist from the UK:
We in the UK do not have such large forests that can easily visit.
Meanwhile, tour operators are preparing Christmas offers, with hundreds of people booking places.