Belarus Foreign Minister Hails Success of Visa-Free Travel Programme


A year since the President of Belarus Alexander Lukashenko signed a decree allowing visitors from 80 countries to visit the country visa-free for five days, the programme has been hailed as a roaring success by the country’s foreign minister, Vladimir Makei. The Belarus capital Minsk is in particular feeling the economic benefit of the visa-free travel programme, which includes the all the countries of the European Union, the United States, Japan and many others. The only condition of the visa-free programme is that visitors both arrive and depart from Minsk International Airport.

“Allowing citizens of 80 nations to stay in Belarus for five days without visas has already borne fruit,” Mr Makei told the television channel Belarus One. “Over 80,000 foreign citizens, primarily from Western Europe, have visited Belarus since the new rules came into effect. Revenues from tourism, hotel services, healthcare and recreation services and so on have increased by 35 per cent in Minsk.” He also said that the number of visitors who overstayed was “insignificant.”

According to Mr Makei, visitors are in particular coming to see the Augustow Canal on the border with Poland, and the Belovezhskaya Pushcha National Park, a preserved part of the UNESCO-listed Białowieża Forest, the last primeval forest in Europe.

Mr Makei’s comments come shortly after Business Insider rated Minsk of one of the cheapest destinations in Europe. Belarus is keen to boost tourist numbers, and has over the past 12 months taken a number of steps to make visiting the country easier. In the capital, tourist information centres have been opened in the city centre and at the railway station, and the country has made much more of an effort to promote itself abroad.

Plans to extend the visa-free programme, either to more countries or to allow visitors to stay longer, will be discussed at a meeting of the government later in January.


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Budapest’s Property Boom Goes Nationwide


Double Ratings Agency Boost for Bulgaria

Armenia Opens New Free Economic Zone on Iranian Border

Bags headgear boxes made of traditional fabrics of Armenian patterns and colors lying on the stalls at the Yerevan market in Armenia

EU: Consumption Still Driving Growth

Estonia Leading CEE Country in WEF Competitiveness Index

pharmaceutical factory woman worker operating production line at pharmacy industry manufacture factory

Romanian President Appoints Country’s First Female PM

viorica dancila prime minister of romania

Croatian Salaries Are Growing in Line With Other CEE Countries

Dubrovnik Croatia emerging europe

Euroscepticism in Serbia: An Image Problem?

IMF Urges Croatia to Speed Up Reform


Slovenia Sets Green Vehicle Deadline of 2030


CEE Boosted by Positive Tourism Trends Across the Region

cruise ship in Kotor Bay Montenegro. Aerial view panorama. Kotor bay Montenegro.

Italy and Belarus: A Relationship Based on Complementarities and History

Lviv Is the Pearl and the Soul of Ukraine

Azerbaijan, Georgia, Turkey Launch New ‘Silk Rail’ Link

Investing in Ukrainian Food and Agriculture

The Belarusian real estate market is on the up

Why Is Belarus Tech Booming?

Brexit Is a Great Opportunity to Attract Foreign Investors to Belarus

Mixed Results for Emerging Europe in New WEF Equality Report


HSBC Reports CEE Growth Surge in Q3

romania national bank

The Azerbaijani Laundromat: Why It Matters

azerbaijani money laundering

Germany and Belarus: Thinking Globally Acting Locally

Will the New Five-day Visa-free Regime Encourage More Visitors to Belarus?

Belarusian Economy on a Diet to Change its Financial Outlook

More Brexit Fears As the UK Proves To Be A Needed Member

City of London view from Waterloo Bridge. This view includes: St. Paul`s Cathedral The Gherkin Tower 42 and Blackfriars Bridge.

Michael: The Last King of Romania

CEE Emigrants Could Boost Their Countries’ Economies

Londoners walking through Millennium Bridge with St.Paul's Cathedral at the background after sunset - London, UK

Derek Chollet: There Is a Resurgence of Supporters of the Transatlantic Relationship

white house

Polish Enterprise Salaries Climb Steeply

Money of National Bank of Poland. Polish zloty banknote on red velvet background; Macro photo; Depth of field

Sunday Trading in Poland Under Renewed Threat

Ukraine’s Q2 Growth Climbs

kyiv ukraine emerging europe

Japanese PM Announces Western Balkans EU Initiative

TOKYO JAPAN - Apr 06 2016: Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe during his meeting with President of Ukraine Petro Poroshenko in Tokyo

Bulgarian Capital Pulls Above Its Weight


Bulgaria: Real Estate’s New Frontier?

Steep Jump in Georgian Exports

container ship in import export and business logistic.By crane Trade Port Shipping.cargo to harbor.Aerial view.Top view.

Belarusian Tech Companies Lead a Global Technological Advance in Outsourcing and Product Development

Romania is Haemorrhaging Doctors

Friendly female doctor hands holding patient hand sitting at the desk for encouragement, empathy, cheering and support while medical examination. Bad news lessening, compassion, trust and ethics concept

Moldovan Government Hails Business-Friendly Legal Reforms; NGOs Remain Cool

Chisinau, Republic of Moldova, Eastern Europe, 29th June 2017: view to the Parliament Building in Chisinau, Moldova

Investors in Poland Unfazed By Article 7

Warsaw EBRD annual meeting

Belarusian Journalists Still Face Huge Problems

The Reality in Romania Exposes False Perceptions Of The Country

EBRD Transition Report Highlights Financial Sector Resilience


Romanians Take to the Streets in New Mass Protest

Economy builds bridges in Mostar

Emerging Europe Internet Speeds: Could Do Better

3d rendering internet speed meter close up

e-Estonia: Believe the Hype

Go East

The EU’s Benign Neglect Of Eastern Europe

The Belarusian Financial Sector: An Industry in the Process of Restructuring

Jadranka Joksimović: Serbia Takes Its Candidacy of the EU Seriously


Emerging Europe and the EBRD host the Outlook on Belarus conference in London

Falling Student Numbers and Declining R&D Result From Lack of Funds

ArcelorMittal Kryvyi Rih Gets EBRD Boost

Landscape with two mine head frames . Ukraine, Kryvyi Rih, Iron-ore mine Gvardeiskaya. An autumn sunny day with blue sky. Complex for Mining

Mobilising Private Sector Investment in Belarus, Moldova & Ukraine


New Political Crisis Hits Moldova


China and Central Europe: Don’t Believe the Hype


Slowly, Tech Brand Belarus Emerges

belarus tech

‘Traditional Values’: A Potent Weapon Against LGBT Rights

gay rights putin

Hungary Seen as Riskiest Country in CEE


Ask for Georgian Campaign Set to Expand Abroad

Traditional Georgian carpet. Carpets with typical geometrical patterns are among the most famous products of Georgia.

Poland Stays Cool on Euro Adoption

Euro cash and Zloty on one photo.

Poland Fails to Spend Billions of Euros in EU Funds

euro banknotes

Why the Baltic States Should Reject the Nanny State

man smoking a cigarette Cigarette smoking Cigarette with smoke

CEE Nation Brands Still Behind Western Counterparts

TALLINN ESTONIA- JUNE 17: View of the modern high rise buildings on border with an old part of the city on June 17 2012 in Tallinn Estonia

World Bank’s Doing Business Report 2016 Resume For Emerging Europe

Changes Are Making Ukrainian Banking More Aligned with International Standards

Fitch And the World Bank: Economic Growth To Remain Solid Within CEE In 2016

IMF Increases Growth Forecast With Emerging Europe Prominent

Dambovita river and center of Bucharest at sunset time Romania.

Next Christmas in Belgrade? The EU’s Move into the Western Balkans

Belgrade, Serbia, July 22, 2017.Belgrade cityscape at sunset with national assembly, aerial view

Business Mentors Helping to Solve Business Development Problems First

Portrait of confident business people interacting in the office

Slovenia is CEE’s leader in innovation

GSA Names Ukraine as UK’s Offshoring Destination of the Year

map of ukraine emerging europe

Merkel: Albania is taking big steps forward

Belarus’ Economy Is Slowly Recovering From Past Declines

Hungary Today: Potential and Challenge

Chain bridge on Danube river in Budapest city. Hungary. Urban landscape panorama with old buildings and domes of opera

Investors Eye Opportunities in Emerging European Infrastructure


Belarus US Business Relations Thrive as Conditions Improve

Bloomberg Croatia Business Day 2015

Romanian Car Maker Dacia Sees Sales Boom

Sables d Olonne France - May 07 2017 : Dacia Tour 2017 is a commercial operation organized by the car builder in order to present its cars throughout France - Close-up on cars

Romania Warned Again by European Council Over Budget Deficit

romania finance ministry

Macedonia — Stepping Out Of the Shadow Of the Balkans

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