At an operational meeting in the mayor's office, the head of Minks City Executive Committee, Nikolai Ladutko, instructed to increase the number of foreign tourists visiting the capital of Belarus in five times over next five years. The number of guests should reach one million people a year, according to calculations of specialists of the mayor's office.
Activities to make Minsk attractive to foreign tourists will be reflected in the program of entrance tourism development in 2011-2015. According to Nikolai Ladutko, the main attention should be paid to business tourism and sports facilities, as the country has hosted many world-class sports events in recent years, and in 2014 here will be held the world hockey championship, BelTA informs.
Mikhail Yuspa, the head of the department for physical education, sport and tourism of Minsk City Hall noted that the volume of entrance tourism could be increased through marketing work, more active cooperation with tour operators, construction of new hotels and sports complexes, improvement of tourism infrastructure.
It is assumed that in each district of the capital there will be developed sightseeing tours’ routes, equipped parking for tourist buses, installed signs with information about tourist sites. Near the railway station, Minsk City Hall, Trinity suburb, it is also planned to open tourist information centers, to establish inquiry information terminals. For the convenience of foreign tourists, it is proposed to duplicate the names of historically significant streets in Roman alphabet. According to Minsk City Executive Committee officials, another incentive for organizations may become an annual city competition for best workers of tourist industry (tour operators, tour guides, catering organizations, etc.).
Mikhail Yuspa underlined that in recent years, a lot has been done to make the city more attractive to foreign tourists. For example, there carried out work for Minsk decent image in the Republic and abroad, released various souvenir and promotional products, created official touristic website of the city, introduced the guest card.
As a result of 2009, the export of tourism services in Minsk amounted to 65.2 million dollars and increased more than in three times in comparison with 2006. The number of foreign guests of the capital, used hotel services, increased from 2005 by 38% — from 139 to 193 thousand people. The revenues of Belarusian hotels from the stay of foreigners last year increased by 20% comparing with 2008, and totaled about 127 billion rubles. However, according to Mikhail Yuspa, «the existing capacity and reserves are not used in full».