Belarus hopes for a significant increase in the number of Chinese tourists to Belarus after mutual abolition of visas, BelTA news agency quotes PM Andrei Kobyakov as saying to Xinhua News Agency of China last week.
Similar wishes were voiced by Minsk mayor Andrei Shorets at the meeting with a Chinese delegation at the Minsk City Hall on 26 May.
“The need to apply for a visa remains one of the obstacles towards a tangible increase in tourist flows. Within the framework of the Belarus Tourism Year in China, the two countries are working on the agreement to allow mutual visa-free travels for ordinary citizens,” Belarusian PM Andrei Kobyakov stated.
According to the official, Belarus will be one of Europe’s first countries to sign visa-free travel with China. Cooperation in tourism is expected to open up new opportunities in other areas of bilateral cooperation, e.g. in trade, culture, and education.
The capital of Belarus is interested in the inflow of Chinese visitors, too. “Minsk can become a starting point for traveling not only around Belarus, but also to other cities … Moscow, Kiev, Warsaw, Vilnius or Riga,” the Head of Minsk City Executive Committee Andrei Shorets told his Chinese colleagues from Beijing at the meeting on Saturday, 26 May.
In 2017, over 3,200 Chinese travelers bought package tours to Belarus, a nearly two-time increase from the previous year. The Belarusian officials are convinced that the figure should be bigger.
Belarus and China are actively developing business projects with the construction of the Great Stone industrial park underway. Belarus is also creating comfortable infrastructure for Chinese tourists by introducing the Chinese language at the national airport, the central railway station and ATMs.