Belarus to continue visa rules liberalization for foreign tourists

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Belarus to continue visa rules liberalization for foreign tourists

Photo: president.gov.by

Work on simplifying the visa regime for foreigners will be continued in Belarus, President Alexander Lukashenko said on Thursday.

The Belarusian leader held a meeting on the liberalization of the visa regime on Thursday. He noted that the tourism industry of the republic has made a big step forward in recent years, and the sphere as a whole has become one of the most dynamically developing.

"Today everyone can choose a holiday in Belarus to their taste and get quality services. Interest in Belarus is growing. In this regard, we have adopted a number of normative acts simplifying entry into the country. However, we should continue work in this direction," Lukashenko said.

Alexander Lukashenko, President of the Republic of Belarus: 
The current migration policy of the European Union, namely the lack of real control over the movement of refugees, is already starting to yield its sad results. First of all, this is the growth of terrorist threat in the region. Therefore, taking particular decisions, we must first of all remember the most important for us - the security of Belarus' citizens and those who are at one time or another in Belarus. Security is above all. No money from tourism can compensate for lack of security.

Therefore, we need to consider in detail all aspects of simplifying the visa regime, taking into account the world trends and adopt an absolutely optimal, balanced decision. Only in the interests of Belarus.

Belarus introduced a visa-free regime for entry through the Minsk airport for citizens of 80 countries in early 2017; these tourists can stay in the Republic for five days. In addition, there are regulations on visa-free entry to certain regions of Belarus - to Belovezhskaya Pushcha and the Augustow Canal.

The term of visa-free stay in certain areas of the Grodno and Brest regions in late 2017 was increased to ten days.

Experts hope that the term of stay in Belarus without a visa will be increased shortly, provided that a person arrives via the Minsk national airport.

In the first year of the visa-free regime, the Minsk budget has received significantly more revenues, and if the terms are extended, the country can expect an even greater increase in profits from tourism activities.