Belarus Tourism

Sector outlook

Belarus offers rich and diversified tourism resources, suitable for cultural tourism (ancient cities, medieval castles, museums, etc.), ecotourism (6 national parks, including 1 which is among UNESCO World Heritage Sites, 85 natural reserves), agritourism and leisure and sports (walking, cycling, horse riding and water sports).

The development of tourism in Belarus is still far below its potential: only 120,000 tourists visited Belarus with organised tours in 2011, and around 4 million tourists were recorded in border statistics in 2010. The number of tourist arrivals, however, shows a slow but steady growth. The main countries of origin are the CIS countries (especially Ukraine and Russia) and to a lesser extent some European countries (Lithuania, Poland, Germany, etc.).


Strategic direction/ specific schemes and incentives

  • State support in developing tourism, to be reinforced in a new tourism strategy to be adopted in 2012
  • Tourism revenues to be increased by 3.5 times by 2015, a target of 85% of private investment in tourism, of which 30-40% from foreign investors (government plan)
  • Enhancement of tourism infrastructure, especially hotels, with a special programme in Minsk for World Hockey Championship in 2014
  • Special benefits and tax cuts are available for investors, especially in agritourism and in the hotel business (special list) : new hotels are exempt from profit tax for the first 3 years of operation


Business opportunities

  • Hospitality sector: construction of new hotels of all ranges, from budget hotels to 4 and 5 star and business hotels
  • Privatisation of several state-owned hotels
  • Avgustov Canal: this special tourism and recreation park near the Polish and Lithuania borders attracted 1 million tourists in 2011. A list of investment opportunities is available for private investors. It offers special tax and customs regimes and a 70% tax reduction for projects above EUR 0.2 million
  • 16 investment opportunities to be launched by the government in 2012


Some success stories

The main foreign investments include:


Useful links and contacts

FEZ Grodnoinvest

Belarusian CCI

National Agency of Investment and Privatization (NAIP)

Official website of Belarus

Ministry of Sport and Tourism

 

This publication has been produced with the financial assistance of the European Union. The contents of this publication are the sole responsibility of EUROCHAMBRES and can in no way be taken to reflect the views of the European Union.

© 2011 East Invest Support Office
Tel. +32 (0)2 282 08 50 | Fax +32 (0)2 230 00 38