Belarus may cancel visa fees for tourists coming to festivals

Belarus plans to introduce free visas for tourists who come to festivals, said Alexander Shamko, Minister of Sport and Tourism, at the opening of the international fair of tourist services Holiday 2016 in Minsk.

Belarus has already introduced a similar practice for participants of sporting events. They can get a Belarusian visa free of charge in 5-7 minutes at the airport.

The minister noticed that his agency is considering exempting some tourists from visa fees. In particular, these may be tourists who have hotel booking or tickets to Belarus’ festivals that are included in the annual calendar of tourism events.

We have government support on this issue. I am confident that this will contribute to the liberalization of visa issues and increase the flow of tourists,” Mr Shamko noted.

At present, citizens of 18 countries can travel to Belarus without a visa, with visa-free visits introduced unilaterally for citizens of Qatar. For the rest, Belarus’ visa fee (for obtaining a single short Belarusian visa) is between 25 and 60 euros, depending on the country.

Belarus has no visa regime with Turkey and Israel. In August 2015, Belarus allowed China’s citizens to travel to the country without a visa. This also goes for transit tourists from China provided they stay in Belarus up to three days.

Also, this opportunity can be used by those who arrive in Belarus on direct flights from Chinese airports, but only if they have a valid EU and Schengen visa in their passport.

Foreigners also have an opportunity to spend three days in the Bialowieza Forest without a visa.


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