Are five visa-free days enough for tourists in Belarus?


Are five visa-free days enough for tourists in Belarus?

Belarus is mulling over allowing tourists to stay in the country visa-free for 10 instead of the current 5 days. In the Grodno region, the visa-free regime has been in force for almost a year now. Practice showed that guests not only from neighboring countries want to see Belarus visa-free.

This canvas with reviews from foreigners is as an indicator of the effectiveness of the visa-free regime.

Here is another fact - the number of tourist buses on the parking lot. A year ago, there was a lot of space here, but today the station is quite crowded. Streams of tourists come from Lithuania and Poland. There are even travellers from Germany here.

Swavek Janowski, tourist (Poland):
We ate dinner, a very good dinner. Lard was good!

Marcin Papaj, tourist (Poland):
We can go without visas. From Poland. And it's very good, awesome! You can come without unnecessary formalities.

This is Roman from Poland. He is a frequent visitor to Grodno since he accompanies tourist groups from Bialystok.

Roman, tourist (Poland):
5 days is not very much, but I think it depends on program and on tourists. I think that 5 days is enough for a short trip. But if I wanted to know Belarus deeper, that's not enough.

Tourists, especially those who are from afar, say that two days out of five is actually travelling, the so-called suitcase time. In fact, only 3 days remain. For example, it's almost nothing for medical tourism.

Galina Buro, CTV:
Initially, the visa-free zone in the Grodno region was an experiment. It has been in force almost a year. The results are impressive in numbers - over 40,000 foreigners have already used the visa-free regime. Belarus attracts and this is a fact.

While at the beginning of the experiment Belarusian authorities worried about security, now the mechanism has been worked out. It is being scaled in all senses. After all, in the Grodno region the visa-free zone includes only the regional center and the Augustow Canal.

Vitaly Bratanyuk, tourism specialist of a tour company of Grodno:
In order to offer interesting tourist products for our foreign partners in the future, we need to modernize this tourist product a little, improve it. And one of the options may be to expand the territory of the visa-free regime to the borders of the Grodno region.

Among the proposals is to increase time, expand the zone, and use the railway station and the Grodno airport. Part of the income needs to be invested in the development of infrastructure and services. This is the core things to make recreation in Belarus even more attractive. However, this is a bare minimum and much more needs to be done in the future.