What markets does Belarus stake on, as a tourist destination, what problems the domestic tourist business faces, as well as the requests of Belarusian tourists, read the material Profi. ravel.
According to Marina Mastashova, consultant of the planning and organization of tourism activities of the Tourism Department of the Ministry of Sports and Tourism, as of June 6, 2019, 243,955 people from 71 countries of the world arrived in Belarus through the Minsk National Airport.
The TOP-10 countries from which tourists most often come to Belarus include Germany (more than 40 thousand tourists), Italy (just over 22 thousand), Poland (21.8 thousand), USA (16.8 thousand), Great Britain (16.7 thousand), France (11.39 thousand), Latvia (about 8.9 thousand), Netherlands (8.6 thousand), Sweden (7, 8 thousand) and Lithuania (7.1 thousand).
Liberalization of the visa regime has allowed to increase the number of arrivals of foreign tourists through special tourist zones. “In particular, 193,746 people from more than 30 countries have visited Grodno and the Belarusian part of the Augustow Canal since the introduction of the visa-free regime (since October 2016),” said a representative of the department. “Belovezhskaya Pushcha and the tourist and recreational zone“ Brest ”were visited by more than 28,820 foreign citizens on a visa-free basis from January 1, 2018 to June 7 of this year”.
According to the State Border Committee, last year Ukraine, Russia, Lithuania, Poland, Latvia, Moldova, Germany, Kazakhstan, Turkey, Israel entered the top 10 countries in terms of inbound tourism in Belarus. “In total, according to the department, 4 million 791 thousand 951 people visited our country in 2018,” said Marina Mastashova. She also cited data from the National Statistical Committee on Organized Inbound Tourism. Last year, most often organized tours to Belarus were bought by tourists from the Russian Federation, Lithuania, Poland, Latvia, Ukraine, Germany, China, Spain, Estonia and Great Britain. A total of 365,534 people, which is more than 21.3% more than in 2017.
“In 2019, the Ministry of Sports planned to focus on the countries of the Persian Gulf and the Arab world - this is a fairly promising and rich market for promotion. Southerners suffer from sweltering heat in the summer, so they tend to leave after Ramadan to countries with more favorable climatic conditions, with a developed tourist infrastructure. And Belarus is ideal for this, however, we have great competition with Slovakia, Poland, the Czech Republic and other countries of Eastern Europe, ”emphasized Philip Guly, Chairman of the Board of the Republican Union of the Tourism Industry of Belarus.
According to him, at the moment negotiations are underway with the airlines of Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates on the possibility of opening direct flights with Minsk.
“This is a very promising area for Belarus, because the market capacity of the Gulf countries is 45 million people. Tourists from these countries are already loaded with such destinations as Malaysia, Slovakia, even Bosnia and Herzegovina, - said Philip Guly. - At the same time, these are rather complex markets with their own specifics. For example, Georgia invested in marketing for these destinations, there was a rise for two years, and then the dynamics changed. On developing tourist sites, there is always a danger of debranding when people went but didn't get exactly what they wanted. This does not mean that they are faced with poor service. This means that the product does not meet their needs. "
Unlike German, American and Scandinavian tourists, who are more interested in the "excursion", the Arabs need a different kind of recreation: they love expensive good restaurants, leisurely walks are a completely different type of tourists.
According to Philip Guly, the markets of Southeast Asia are also promising for Belarus. In addition to China, there are good prospects for promotion in the markets of South Korea and Japan. And work in this direction is already underway.
At a press conference in the press center of Sputnik Belarus, tourism professionals discussed the problems and prospects for the development of social and ecological tourism in Belarus.
Note that in Russia at the last session of the Interparliamentary Assembly of the Commonwealth countries in November 2019, framework laws were adopted on the support and development of ecological and social tourism in the CIS countries.
“Social tourism is designed to smooth out the contradictions between the diverse strata of the population, which increases the social and political stability of the state. We are building a welfare state, so different categories of citizens should be able to travel and improve their health, and this requires legal regulation, ”said Konstantin Pshenko, executive secretary of the permanent commission on information, tourism and sports of the IPA CIS.
Belarus is also actively working on a new law "On Tourism", where such concepts as social and ecological tourism may appear.
Philip Guly, Chairman of the Board of the Republican Union of Travel Industry:
- A law on social tourism was adopted in Russia. How it will look in Belarus - a separate law or legal regulation - is unclear. But the task today is this: the state should not lose money, tourist territories should be developed at the expense of social tourism, and it should be profitable for citizens to travel around their country. Where to start and what legislative aspects need to be changed is a big question that requires consideration.
We want social tourism to spread not to social groups, but to territories that need infrastructure development and support. This is still my personal and subjective position, and when the working group meets and the issue is brought up for discussion by the professional environment, the position may change.
Nevertheless, if people go to the territory where the state money and investments have been invested, or to these territories they will be sent for recreation by employers, everyone will remain in the black. Every 10 rubles that a tourist spends on vacation will stay in the country and go to the development of these locations.
Social tourism is the most important fundamental process for increasing exports, since it is domestic tourism that supports the infrastructure, develops its new elements. Accordingly, today we need ranked territories, recognizing them as priority in development (in order to increase the contribution of exports to the economy).
The Belarusian authorities have big plans for ecotourism: they need branding and a recognizable face, more guides and visit centers. According to the official figures, the strategy of its development in the country is being successfully implemented. However, you should not get too carried away: crowds of people and a thirst for profit can interfere with nature conservation.
The Belarusian authorities have big plans for ecotourism: they need branding and a recognizable face, more guides and visit centers. According to the official figures, the strategy for its development in the country is being successfully implemented. However, you should not get too carried away: crowds of people and a thirst for profit can interfere with nature conservation.
- Ecotourism in Belarus has many promising areas of development, primarily in specially protected natural areas, - said Nikolai Svidinsky, head of the biological and landscape diversity department of the Ministry of Natural Resources, at a press conference on May 24.
A new vision of ecotourism in PAs appeared a little earlier, at the beginning of 2017. Then, changes were made to the National Strategy for the Development of the System of Specially Protected Natural Areas until January 1, 2030.
The concept of “ecotourism” appeared, and it was noted that the PAs have the potential for its development. The document proposes to work with branding, public-private partnerships and develop a single Internet portal.
The document recorded an increase in the number of protected areas in Belarus, both in terms of the number of objects and the area.
If, as of January 1, 2014, there were 1213 specially protected natural areas in Belarus, then on August 1, 2016 there were already 1275. The total area as of January 1, 2014 was 1,615,400 hectares (7.8% of area of the country), now - 1,825,200 hectares (8.79%).
It is planned that by January 1, 2030, there will be more facilities offering a "wide range of tourism services". The recreational load on the protected areas in Belarus, according to Nikolai Svidinsky, allows receiving more guests:
- Now the objects are not loaded, and nothing threatens them, - he says.
The article analyzes the development of tourism in the Republic of Belarus, identifies the problems of the functioning of the tourist complex. The existing mechanisms are unable to solve these problems and increase its competitive potential. The geoeconomic mechanism of ensuring the competitiveness of Belarus as a destination is substantiated. It is based on the methodology of tourism geoeconomics and can be implemented on the principles of "push" and self-organization of the tourist complex. The efficiency of its application in practice is shown.
Key words: tourist complex, tourism in Belarus, geo-economic mechanism, competitiveness.
The development of tourism in Belarus in recent years has been influenced by a number of extraordinary factors, among which are the World Ice Hockey Championship held in the republic, the economic crisis in Russia and the devaluation of the Russian ruble, the reunification of Crimea by the Russian Federation, the stagnation of the Belarusian economy and devaluation of the Belarusian ruble. The tourist complex is very sensitive to these processes, and this should be taken into account by the national tourism policy. However, its approaches are outdated or not developed, which does not allow not only responding to the challenges of recent years, but also solving chronic problems of tourism management, the formation of a tourism industry, doing business in the hospitality sector, and promoting the national tourism product. The directions and parameters of tourism development are determined by the State Program for the Development of Tourism in the Republic of Belarus for 2011-2015. (State program 2011-2015). Achievement of the goals set by it is very difficult due to the action of negative factors associated with the consequences of the crisis in the economy of the republic, neighboring countries and the world as a whole. In such conditions, the agenda is the problem of increasing the competitiveness of Belarus in the tourism market. Therefore, it is required to search for and create new mechanisms for the development of the tourist complex, corresponding to the economic realities of today.
The purpose of the article is to substantiate a new mechanism for the development of the tourist complex of the republic, which makes it possible to effectively solve the main problems of its development and is based on the modern methodology of tourism sciences.
The current state of tourism development in Belarus
In 2014, there was a “break” in several key indicators of Belarusian tourism statistics (the number of hotels and similar accommodation facilities, their occupancy, the geographical structure of the outbound tourist flow). Investment expectations in the hotel business related to the increase in tourist flow in connection with the 2014 World Ice Hockey Championship did not materialize: the number of hotels increased by 50, or 10%, compared to 2013, and the number of guests accommodated decreased by 66 thousand. ., or by 3.7%, which led to a decrease in hotel occupancy to a historic low of 34% (earlier the sector was steadily "holding" above or about 40%). On the market for organized outbound tourism, the demand for recreation in Ukraine and Russia fell: travel agencies sent 79.9 thousand tourists to the CIS countries, which is 63% less than in 2013. The flow to non-CIS countries increased by 33% and reached 660.7 thousand. In general, organized outbound tourism grew in 2014 by 4.5% to 740.5 thousand. The number of travel agencies for the year increased by 15.6% to 1254, and the subjects of agroecotourism - by 8.3% until 2037. At the same time, on the domestic routes, the market lost 20 thousand consumers and amounted to only 56 thousand served. Exports under the item “travel” increased in comparison with 2013 from 791.4 to 867.6 million US dollars, and imports - insignificantly, by 5 million. dollars, but much exceeds exports, forming a negative balance of 1158.7 million dollars.
The absolute scale of the tourism industry is reflected in the statistics on the number of tourism organizations and accommodation facilities (Table 1). Their number in the period 2000-2014. in general has grown significantly. The number of travel agencies (organizations engaged in tourist activities) during this time tripled and amounted to 1254 entities, and the total number of collective accommodation facilities (hotels, sanatoriums, rest homes, tourist centers, etc.) increased 1.7 times.
Table 1. Organizations engaged in tourism activities and collective accommodation facilities, units. Companies Travel industrii200020052008200920102011201220132014Organizatsii engaged in tourism activities, including vsego41540257772078379195810851254V involved: the tour operator and travel agent deyatelnostyu69688297100130142160turagentskoy deyatelnostyu93104145188225273387519turoperatorskoy deyatelnostyu240405493498466555556575Kollektivnye accommodation facilities, vsego574600627655693865919945996V including: hotels and similar facilities razmescheniya256279312331359444471481530sanatorno resort and wellness organizatsii318321315324334421448464466 <
Source: Statistical Yearbook of the Republic of Belarus 2015. Minsk: National Statistical Committee of the Republic of Belarus, 2015.
The dynamics of the number of certain types of enterprises in the travel industry over the last decade (2005-2014) is shown in Fig. 1.
Belarus is a country of rivers and lakes, so it is not surprising that the concept of "water tourism" is well known to Belarusians. And it is not limited to such popular locations as Lake Naroch or the Braslav Lakes Nature Reserve. Each region of the country has its own lakes, rivers and reservoirs, where water sports enthusiasts will spend their time with benefit and pleasure.
To begin with, let's single out a group of activities that imply the active participation of the tourist himself, his appropriate physical training. It includes canoeing, kayaking, boating, catamarans, rafts. For example, only near Minsk there are several rivers suitable for such skiing - Isloch, Viliya, Zapadnaya Berezina, Yarshovka.
Of great importance is the fact that along the special rafts there are often equipped beaches or just places where you can stop, make a fire, or spend the night. That is, skiing can be more than just a few hours - tourists often spend several days on the water with short breaks. This is the choice for real athletes.
Water tourism of this kind can be organized and unorganized. In the second case, tourists and just lovers of active recreation create the necessary conditions for themselves, develop routes. However, beginners are encouraged to join an active school or group of more experienced athletes. There are many coaches in Belarus who will gladly help you to kayak, raft or master a canoe. Moreover, all types of devices are available for rent, so you don't need to buy too much if you just want to try your hand.
Another option for water tourism is riding on boats, yachts, motor ships. Now this area is actively developing in Belarus. Here are some options for those looking to take a boat trip:
Be careful: many of these ships set out on a journey if there is a sufficient number of people willing - usually from 15 to 20 people. Before going to the embankment, check for additional information on the net.
We have given just a few examples of motor ships that make water tourism in Belarus not only affordable, but also comfortable. In fact, dozens of similar options for equipment ply along the rivers and lakes of the country - wherever there are large reservoirs, tourists will be offered something interesting.
If you want to combine water walks with the maximum level of comfort, you will like the Polesie Hotel, which is moored in Turov, on the banks of the Pripyat.
Eight cozy cabins, a beautiful deck and three days of walking along one of six routes - no one will remain indifferent.