Visas for visitors to Augustow Canal may be abolished by year-end 2016

Plans have been made to introduce visa-free travel for tourists visiting the Augustow Canal by year-end 2016, Belarusian Sports and Tourism Minister Alexander Shamko told BelTA.

“The matter is under consideration. A relevant document is being drafted. I think that the decision on the introduction of visa-free travel at the Augustow Canal will be made this year. This is the clear position of Belarus’ authorities regarding visa-free travel and exchange of sports and tourism delegations,” Alexander Shamko noted.

He added that the Belarusian Sports and Tourism Ministry is drawing up a yearly plan of international competitions whose participants will get Belarusian visas free of charge. The same approach will be applied to tourism events. Alexander Shamko said that free visas will be given as part of a pilot project to the participants of the international caravan and camping festival in Belarus to be held in Krupki District, Minsk Oblast, on 7-10 May.

“Visa-free travel helps boost the flow of tourists to our country. We will continue working in this direction. We need to develop an integrated approach, introduce it at tourist sites, and place the emphasis on event tourism,” Alexander Shamko pointed out.

Visa-free travel for visitors to Belovezhskaya Pushcha was introduced in 2015. There are plans to do the same at the border checkpoint Lesnaya-Rudawka located on the Augustow Canal in Grodno Oblast.

On 5 May, Belarusian Sports and Tourism Minister Alexander Shamko visited Brest to answer questions related to tourism, sports, housing privatization, and implementation of innovative solutions in professional sport.


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