MINSK, 25 September (BelTA) – The number of tourists coming to Belarus rises every year. In 2018 Belarus saw 11.5 million inbound visitors, including 365,500 people from 122 countries buying trips from travel agencies, BelTA learned from the statistics report released by the National Statistics Committee of Belarus on the occasion of World Tourism Day.
In 2016 and 2017 Belarus saw over 10.9 million and 11 million arrivals respectively including the people who crossed the state border via the open Belarusian-Russian section. The visitors stayed in Belarus for five days on the average.
The top countries in terms of the number of tourists buying trips from travel agencies are Russia, Lithuania, Poland, Latvia, Ukraine, Germany, China, Spain, Estonia, and the UK. In 2018 Belarus saw an upsurge in the number of arrivals from Lithuania (from 26,200 to 59,600), Poland (from 22,700 to 46,300), Latvia (from 6,500 to 11,000), and Spain (from 1,400 to 3,200). As for Russia, it is still the source of the largest number of tourists coming to Belarus – 207,400 people.
Representatives of the Dominican Republic, Mauritius, Bolivia, Costa Rica, Tanzania, Burkina Faso, Jamaica, Haiti, and Cote d'Ivoire have travelled for over 8,000km to visit places of interest in Belarus.
In 2018 over 1 million Belarusians demonstrated their interest in buying trips to travel inside the country, 3% up from 2017. One-day tours accounted for over 90% of the total. Over 2 million people, including 970,200 from Belarus, stayed in hotels and similar hospitality industry establishments.
As many as 54 hotels in Belarus have international star ratings. There are also 490 sanatoriums and health resorts in Belarus. Their services attracted 840,300 people, including 229,000 foreigners (27%).
There is a total of over 15,000 places of historical, cultural, and architectural interest in Belarus as well as commemorative places relating to outstanding figures of world history and culture.
The appeal of Belarusian farm stays grows stronger every year. Slightly more than 2,000 commercial entities operated farm stays in Belarus in 2018. Their farm stays welcomed 422,300 people, up from 351,100 in 2017. The guests stayed for five days on the average.
World Tourism Day is marked on 27 September every year. The event is meant to promote tourism, highlight tourism's contribution to the development of cultural ties and understanding between nations.