In BelTA's YouTube project "After the Fact:Lukashenko's Decisions”, Irina Voronovich, Director of the Tourism Department at the Sport and Tourism Ministry, spoke about the status of rural tourism in Belarus.
According to her, in 2019, the percentage of visits by foreign tourists was very high. “Bus tours were especially popular. Some farmsteads host workshops and concerts. This type of tourism was in demand. We saw the interest. But then came the pandemic. Tourism flows have changed slightly. Today we are seeing an increase in domestic tourism. Our citizens account for a greater percentage of travelers today, which is also good. Because rural tourism is an alternative to traveling abroad. People are rediscovering this type of vacation”
Rural tourism is not only about accommodation and organic food, Irina Voronovich said. Many operators pool together into a cluster system, when one farmstead provides one kind of services, the other – something completely different. “During a stay in one farmstead, people visit others and get a lot of interesting experiences. An active type of recreation is also welcome when the hosts organize kayaking or cycling, or eco-trail trips. Ecotourism is not a narrow concept. It is an overnight stay in the countryside and organic food. This is a large comprehensive package of tourist services,” she stressed.