The United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) on Monday expressed its full support to the decision of the Government of Belarus to launch the 5-day visa-free policy that will be applicable to travelers from 80 countries. The measure aims at advancing seamless travel and attracting visitors, particularly those on business trips.
“Visa facilitation is among the most effective strategies to induce tourism development in a region or in a country, so we are sure that the tourism sector will experience a positive shift in Belarus,” said UNWTO Secretary General, Taleb Rifai.
The five-day visa-free regime for citizens of 80 states starts from mid-February.
The Government of Belarus has recently decided to advance visa facilitation as a means to stimulate tourism development. Belarus President Alexander Lukashenko on January 9 signed a decree on the introduction of the visa-free entry and departure for foreign citizens.
The decision introduces visa-free entry at the Minsk National Airport and visa-free stay in Belarus for up to five days for the citizens of 80 states. Among those, there are 39 countries of Europe, including the entire European Union, Brazil, Indonesia, the USA and Japan.
Citizens of China, Honduras, Haiti, Gambia, India, Lebanon, Namibia, Samoa, and Vietnam, must have multiple valid visas from other European countries to be eligible under the decree.
Moreover, the visa exemption will not work for foreigners arriving in Belarus from Russia because passport control points do not exist for individuals arriving from the Russian Federation.
The promotion of seamless travel is one of UNWTO’s priorities, considering the proven capacity of visa facilitation to stimulate economic growth and job creation through tourism.