Over 179,000 tourists took advantage of visa-free entry to Belarus via Minsk National Airport, according to the Sports and Tourism Ministry.
Since February 2017, a total of 179,000 foreigners from 70 countries visited Belarus.
The majority of guests came from Germany (over 28,000), Poland (over 16,000), Italy (over 15,000). About 12,000 foreigners came from the US and the UK.
Up to 8,000 tourists arrived from France, more than 6,400 from the Netherlands and Latvia, over 6,000 from Sweden, and over 5,000 from neighboring Lithuania.
Nostalgic, historical, educational, as well as industrial and medical travel are just some of the reasons why tourists come to Belarus. They also appreciate beautiful nature, tranquility, and see the country as a place to escape the stress and the noisy modern world.
Grodno and Brest
Besides, Grodno and Brest oblasts have their own 1o-days visa-free regimes.
Since October 2016, Grodno oblast and the August Channel welcomed almost 134,000 foreign tourists. As to Brest oblast and Belovezhskaya Pushcha in particular, it was visited by over 15,00o people since the beginning of the year.
The skyrocketing increase in the number of visitors was apparently boosted by Belarus visa-free policy for citizens of 80 states that started in September 2017. In July 2018, the period of visa-free stay was extended to 30 days.
To disclose the tourist potential of Belarus in full, the country plans to sign an agreement on the mutual recognition of visas between Belarus and Russia.
The move is to resolve the issue of transit of citizens of third countries with Russian or Belarusian visas through the territory of both countries.
“It will work as a so-called mini-Schengen without the unification of visa rules,” said Head of the Department for Citizenship and Migration Aleksei Begun.
It means that foreigners who have a visa of one country will be able to enter, leave, and stay in the other country as long as the visa is valid.