Putin, Rouhani stress importance of joint efforts in settlement of Syrian conflictRussian Politics & Diplomacy May 27, 14:32
Federatsiya spacecraft’s first flight may be rescheduled to 2022 - sourceScience & Space May 27, 14:29
Zbigniew Brzezinski dies at age of 89World May 27, 6:57
More than two-thirds of Russians say would like to venerate St Nicholas’s relicsSociety & Culture May 27, 6:40
Russian space budget may grow this yearScience & Space May 26, 20:48
Moscow hopes London High Court will deliver judgement on Ukraine’s debt to Russia soonBusiness & Economy May 26, 20:21
Hungarian top diplomat: EU must discuss anti-Russian sanctionsWorld May 26, 19:56
Russian, French top diplomats discuss preparations for Putin’s visit to FranceRussian Politics & Diplomacy May 26, 19:47
Moscow comments on Tallinn’s move to expel Russian diplomatsRussian Politics & Diplomacy May 26, 19:43
MINSK, March 25 (Itar-Tass) - Belarus has become a popular tourist destination for the Russians. The biggest tourist flows to Belarus are from Russia. According to the Belarusian National Statistics Committee, a total of 3,843 Russians visited Belarus last year as tourists. Besides, hundreds of thousands Russian nationals visited Belarus individually at the invitation of relatives, friends or acquaintances.
More than 3, 500 Turkish tourists visited Belarus in 2011. Fewer tourists came from Lithuania, New Zealand and Poland.
There are several reasons why Belarus is so popular with Russian tourists. First, Russian travelers don’t need visas. They don’t have to undergo passport or customs formalities at the border. Even a foreign passport is not necessary for them. An internal Russian one will be enough to cross the Russian-Belarusian border.
Second, there are no language barriers. Russian is a state language in Belarus. Third, Belarus has very good roads some of which are not worse than in Western Europe. Besides, the republic has several tourist attractions that are well-known far beyond the Belarusian borders. They include the Brest Fortress, a memorial complex in the Khatyn village (it was burnt down by the Nazis during World War Two), the Belovezhskaya Pushcha national park with Father Frost’s residence, Lake Naroch, the Mirskiy and Nesvizhskiy castles and the Stalin Line historical and cultural complex.
Though the quality of tourist services in Belarus leaves much to be desired, they are cheap, and prices for goods are cheaper than in many other European countries.
Finally, medical tourism has become very popular among Russians in recent years. Russian nationals go to Belarus for treatment, operations and even to maternity hospitals. The Russians note a fairly high level of Belarusian medical services and their moderate cost.
In the meanwhile, organized tours to Russia are not so popular in Belarus. Belarusians prefer the warm waters of the sea in southern countries. According to the republic’s statistical committee, Ukraine was the most popular foreign tourist destination last year. Almost 80,000 Belarusians visited it last year. Almost 60,000 Belarusian nationals visited Turkey, about 30,000 to Egypt and more than 25,000 to Bulgaria compared to almost 22,000 who preferred to travel to Russia.