Belarusian T&T to 2016 Feature Article

The Belarusian travel and tourism industry contributed 4.5% to national GDP in 2011, and directly accounted for 1.8% of the country’s total employment. Furthermore, according to the World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC), investments in Belarusian travel and tourism valued BYR2.19 trillion in 2011, accounting for 2.3% of total national investments. During the review period (2007–2011), the total number of trips undertaken by Belarusian residents recorded a CAGR of 4.82%. This increase was mainly due to work done by the government in improving Belarus’s tourism infrastructure and promoting tourism in the country.

Inbound tourism expected to continue to grow steadily over the forecast period

In 2011, 2.81% of Belarus’s international arrivals came from North America, with 91.73% coming from Europe, and 4.85% coming from the Asia-Pacific region. In the same year, Lithuania, Poland and Ukraine were the three leading source countries for Belarusian inbound tourist arrivals. Of the country’s total inbound arrivals in 2011, 63.84% were leisure tourists and 6.48% were business tourists, with the remainder coming for other reasons such as sports and pilgrimage. Overall, the volume of international tourist arrivals to Belarus is expected to record a CAGR of 2.73% over the forecast period. This is growth is expected to be driven by the country’s overall economic expansion and government efforts to promote Belarus as a leading tourism destination.

Number of domestic and outbound trips projected to increase over the forecast period

The number of domestic and outbound trips by Belarusian residents increased marginally during the review period, with the number of outbound trips from the country recording a CAGR of 5.20%. Among domestic tourists, the three most popular regions were Minsk, Vitebsk and Brest, which collectively accounted for 46.9% of total domestic trips undertaken in 2011. Among Belarusian international tourists, the three most popular destinations were Ukraine, Poland, and Lithuania. As the Belarusian economy continues to recover and more jobs are created, the total number of domestic trips taken is expected to increase over the forecast period.

Government initiatives expected to play key role in industry growth

During the review period, the Belarusian government intensified its efforts to develop the country into an internationally renowned tourism destination. Developing the country’s burgeoning agro-ecotourism market is a key part of this goal, with international projects also being undertaken in the Euroregion Poozerye and Bella Dvina regions. Other ongoing projects plan to showcase the country’s cultural and historical sites, ensuring their protection in the process. A substantial program of infrastructure development is also planned, with a particular focus on developing the country’s water and road infrastructure, as well as ensuring continued protection of Belarus’s natural sites. Finally, there are also initiatives to build health paths and beach zones in the country, as well as a plan to construct helipads near popular tourist sites.

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