During a recent visit to the farm "Belovezhtur" in the district of the Brest region Pruzhansky Alexander Lukashenko demanded that subordinates more intensively to develop agro-tourism sphere and not to obstruct the potential investors. But can we expect the result in terms of the political isolation of Belarus and visa?
Although rural tourism in Belarus began to be cultivated relatively recently, in the last few years of his services Belarusians and foreigners offer more than five hundred estates across the country. As an example of advancement in this field, Alexander Lukashenko demonstrated Farm "Belovezhtur" in the village Kletnoe Pruzhansky in the area in which the development of a native of this place Nicholas rapid has invested $ 40 million. There is already a small inn, 8 guest houses, cafes, at the stage of building another hotel, sauna, swimming pool, sports complex. The entrepreneur believes it is extremely promising:
"Generally speaking, a lot of tourists, many ask to come here. First of all, of course, it's the Russians from St. Petersburg from Moscow. But are often interested tourists from the Czech Republic, the United Arab Emirates. That is, the broad geography. We are now preparing the site and that there was more than set out the material. Therefore, we hope that after a while we will be busy all year round. "
In turn, Alexander Lukashenko urges to make a Russian tourists who have money but are unable to get into their country rural recreation high. But to lure Westerners, this service probably is not enough:
"When I start to do this tourism — almost as much as the village — it does not mean that everything is short-sighted. I will say is simple: today, though the great Russia, but people have nowhere to go. And now here they see Belarus. Most of our tourists by 80% — a Russian. But we cares who goes here, German or Russian? If the Russians, even better: translators are not needed, speak the same language, the price — the same. Russians today are the richest people are traveling here with pleasure and rest. Therefore, it is too late, there is still asleep, oil and gas are involved, we need time to think suddenly, as in agriculture, and to do it. If we create the conditions — then the result will be. "
Who are primarily designed agritourism? On the Belarusians, or still on foreigners? Sergei spree, Smolevichy owner of the estate in the area, a member of the association "Country" and the Public Council for the development of rural tourism in the Minsk region expressed on this account this opinion:
"As for me, the more it Belarusians — the townspeople, who would like to spend time outside the city. That is, in fact eco-tourism — tourism that is outside of the city, when people go out, have a rest on the nature. And if he is held in the village, it is the rural tourism. I propose to stay, accommodation and entertainment opportunities in rural areas. And part of the society, which is interesting, and that is not urbanized to the roots of the hair, it goes here. Speaking of foreigners, the vast majority — are citizens of Russia. To a lesser extent — the Baltic countries. And even fewer representatives of European states. By myself I would say that I foreigners make up probably 25-30%, the rest — the Belarusians. But knowing the situation on the different estates, somewhere completely opposite statistics, foreigners sometimes even more. Most often this is, again, the Russians. "
Bet on the Russians — the accidental eastern neighbors do not need a Belarusian visa, and get to Belarus is not a big problem. But the vast majority of foreign nationals who are used to the free movement of at least within the EU, to pay a pretty penny for the Belarusian visa is not ready.
In addition, in January, the procedure for processing the visa documents at the airport has risen three times that, according to the head of the National Union tourism organizations Valentine Tsehmeystara, does not contribute to increasing the attractiveness of Belarus in the world:
"Although the president at the end of last year and said that this kind of visa practice in the future will be eradicated, but maybe it was the last positive echo of 2009. However, it turned out that the visa audit negatively affected the reputation of tourism business in our country. Even relatively positive step to create the image of hospitality we can not in this case brag. Because it is not a step to be was to make even from the point of view of increasing complaints directly at the location of the embassies of Belarus to open a visa there. "
If the visa barriers were eliminated, or at least simplified, agrotourism could have hoped for a significant boost in its development. This is indicated by almost all the stakeholders who are also owners of farmsteads, includingSergei Gulyankovym:
"Without a doubt. And it is to some extent the answer to the rhetorical question that generally prevents the development of the tourism industry? Obviously, in the first place visa barriers. But international experts who come to our country, celebrated not only by visa problems, the price of them, and maybe nyagnutkastsyu of them produce. The second problem — the lack of markers, signs in foreign languages, especially English. In cities all either in Russian or in Belarusian, and tourism — are the interests of different nations. In this case, printing in English very little, including those belonging to the tourist infrastructure. This, I think, have work to do and the owners and the state. "
Meanwhile, Deputy Minister of Sport and Tourism Czeslaw Shulga convinced that the people of Belarus from abroad pulled. First of all, with the border region, who were soon to feel relief in the design permits. But whether they will join the statistics of visitors Belarusian farmsteads — hard to guess:
"Even during a visit to the region Narochansky head of state said that you need to work in This year, Steps to simplify the visa regime, especially for citizens of neighboring countries, Lithuania, Latvia, Poland. Prior to November 1, these proposals have been submitted. What specific — there is no need to discuss. Probably before the end of the year will finally be ratified an agreement signed with Poland over the border exchanges in the 20-kilometer zone. Lithuania is also on the way, giving undeniable advantages for border areas. When we were given the right to host the World Championship in 2014, as well stated that the States Parties or, more precisely, the fans of these countries, for the period championship will be visa-free regime. In any case, the work is. If you simply will be able to obtain a visa and entry into our country, all of this will benefit. First and foremost, the Belarusian tourism ".
Although Alexander Lukashenko and is convinced that the development of the tourism industry can receive millions in profits, show off some achievements in the field is not necessary. However, it is recognized and officials. For example, the Minister of Sports and Tourism Oleg Kachan in the report to the President said that last year the growth of international tourism receipts amounted to 1%. According to him, it is a little, but the main thing that "does not prevent the recession hit." In other words, you have to be mentally prepared and to ensure that they are seeking to Belarus especially nobody and never will.