Decision on including Brest in Belovezhskaya Pushcha visa-free area expected by year-end 2017

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A decision on including the city of Brest in the Belovezhskaya Pushcha visa-free area is expected by the end of the year, Belarusian Sports and Tourism Minister Alexander Shamko told reporters at BelTA's press center on 3 April.

“Today foreign nationals can visit Belovezhskaya Pushcha, Augustow Canal and Grodno without a visa. We see in which direction to move and what to do to promote the development of these regions. A working group is analyzing the situation in Grodno, which is included in the Augustow Canal visa-free area, in order to create the most favorable conditions for visiting Brest. I think that the matter [regarding the inclusion of Brest in the Belovezhskaya Pushcha visa-free area] will be decided by the end of the year,” Alexander Shamko said. The visa-free zone may be expanded to include not only Brest, but also Kamenets District, Zhabinka District, and Brest District.

The minister pointed out that launching visa-free travel is not enough to attract tourists. “It is necessary to understand that visa-free travel is no panacea. It is an element of the tourism promotion policy,” Alexander Shamko stressed.

A total of 17 tourist routes have been developed to draw tourists to Belovezhskaya Pushcha National Park. Work is underway to set up an open-air archaeological museum. Three cross-border tourist routes have been established jointly with Poland as part of the international project Euroregion Belovezhskaya Pushcha. Ecological trails and hunting tours have been arranged. There are 80 audio guides in English, German, and French.

Source: news agency BelTA

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