Belarus is a country with a truly rich historical and cultural heritage and a wonderful natural heritage. Many architectural, historical and cultural monuments have been preserved on our land, there are a large number of unique natural resources, picturesque forest and water complexes.

Despite the numerous wars that took place on our territory, Belarusians managed to preserve many cultural artifacts, both tangible and intangible; some of them were recreated almost from scratch.

Historical and cultural values, their preservation and maintenance in proper condition are under special control of the state and the President. After all, as A.G.Lukashenko noted, “there are colossal spiritual riches in our national culture. This is our moral core. It helps to preserve identity. We must do everything to preserve and multiply our cultural heritage, to educate new generations on it.”

No less valuable is the natural heritage. Our country is famous for its vast forests and many blue lakes. The Head of State has repeatedly stressed that “the natural landscape of Belarus is our wealth and pride.” There are national parks, nature reserves and nature reserves in the republic, which allow everyone to touch nature that is practically untouched by human hands, to abstract from the hustle and bustle of the city and breathe in clean, fresh air. And in order to leave the opportunity to experience these feelings to our descendants, everyone should remember the words of the President: “Nature is a gift from God, we must preserve it and pass it on to our children and grandchildren in even better condition.”

Directions of development of the tourism industry of Belarus

The tourism industry is taken under the special care of the state and is one of the priority directions of socio-economic development of the Republic of Belarus.

All over the world, tourism brings significant profits and plays an important role in the economy, as well as gives citizens the opportunity to get to know their land and its history better. That is why our country pays such close attention to the development of the tourism industry.

For reference.

If in 2003 the share of tourism in the GDP of Belarus was only 0.06%, then in the pre-2019 it has grown almost 37 times and reached a value of 2.2%.

In 2021, the consolidated target for the export of tourist services in the Republic of Belarus amounted to $129.9 million.The cost of paid tours in 2021 is 918 million rubles, whereas in 2020 it was 375 million rubles.

The key documents designed to promote the creation of favorable conditions for the development of tourism in the Republic of Belarus and to meet the needs of citizens in recreation and wellness are the National Strategy for the Development of Tourism in the Republic of Belarus until 2035 and the State Program “Belarus Hospitable” for 2021-2025 adopted in its development (hereinafter – the Program). The program is designed to continue the formation and further strengthening of a modern competitive tourist complex, to ensure an increase in the contribution of tourism to the development of the national economy.

One of the important goals defined in the Program is to increase the consumption of tourist services by stimulating domestic demand and increasing inbound tourist flows.

An important factor contributing to its achievement is the visa-free regime introduced by the Decree of the President of the Republic of Belarus No. 8 dated January 9, 2017 “On establishing a visa-free entry and exit procedure for foreign citizens”. It allows citizens of dozens of countries of the world who need to obtain a visa to travel to Belarus to visit the republic in a simplified manner.

For reference.

Thus, in the case of crossing the State Border at checkpoints located in the air harbors of our country (Minsk National Airport; Brest Airport; Vitebsk Airport; Gomel Airport; Grodno Airport; Mogilev Airport), the visa-free entry and exit procedure is established for citizens of 76 countries for a period not exceeding 30 days.

In addition, there is a visa–free territory “Brest- Grodno”, which citizens of 73 countries have the right to visit for up to 15 days. The visa-free territory consists of the territories of Brest, Brest, Zhabinkovsky, Kamenetsky, Pruzhansky districts of the Brest region, Grodno, Berestovitsky, Volkovysk, Voronovsky, Grodno, Lida, Svislochsky, Shchuchinsky districts of the Grodno region.

At the same time, the epidemiological situation and sanctions restrictions have become a kind of strength test for the domestic tourism sector. In 2020, the Belarusian tourism industry somewhat moved away from focusing on inbound and outbound tourism, and began to pay more attention to domestic tourism. This trend continued in 2021 – after all, Belarusians themselves began to be interested in how to have a good rest in their homeland, and at the same time they learned a lot of new and interesting things about the history, traditions and culture of their country.

For reference.

The number of organized domestic tourists and tourists in 2021 was 7.3% higher than in pre-2019, when their number was 1107 thousand people.

In 2021, the number of guests amounted to 2,322.3 thousand people or 136.6% by 2020 (with a plan of 108%). At the same time, in 2019, the share of citizens of the Republic of Belarus was 54%, and in 2021 – 78.5%.

Every year new tourist routes are developed, the old ones are updated, their translations into different languages are made. In the whole country at the moment there are about 2 thousand routes.

For reference.

There are 305 routes in the Brest region, 470 in the Vitebsk region, 174 in the Gomel region, 268 in the Grodno region, 477 in the Minsk region, 99 in the Mogilev region, 112 in Minsk.

In addition, in 2021 on the website of the National Tourism Agency ( ) a router has been developed, with the help of which everyone can build a suitable travel route with stops, meals and rest points.

The development of tourist industry facilities is carried out in all regions of the Republic of Belarus. In particular, in 2021, 4 construction and reconstruction works were carried out at 54 facilities, 18 tourist industry facilities were put into operation.

This is only a small part of the work invisible to the outside observer, which is carried out by the state on the development of the tourism industry. However, its result is a wide range of leisure opportunities that open up to residents of our country and its guests from abroad.

Promotion of the tourism potential of the Republic of Belarus in the domestic and foreign tourism markets

There is a wide variety of types of tourism in Belarus, in a wide list of which anyone can find what he likes. The most popular and in demand in 2021 were such areas of tourism as cultural and educational, ecological, agroecotourism, health and wellness, medical, industrial, sports and gastronomic. They are the basis of the tourism potential of our country.

Cultural and educational tourism combines educational sightseeing trips with visits to historical, architectural, natural and cultural sites.

The most interesting sights of Belarus are fortresses and castles, palace and park ensembles and ancestral estates, temples and monasteries, unique corners of untouched nature, ancient engineering structures, museums and ethnographic villages, the native places of famous artists, writers and scientists.

On the territory of our country there are 4 objects included in the UNESCO World Heritage List. Among them are the pearls of Belarusian architecture: the Mir castle complex and the Nesvizh National Historical and Cultural Museum-Reserve.

Castle complex “Mir”. Mir Castle is considered one of the oldest and most beautiful castles in Europe, where different architectural styles are combined, starting with Gothic and Baroque and ending with the Renaissance era. Mir is the most popular attraction in Belarus, the residence of the famous Radziwills family, is an outstanding example of defensive architecture of the XVI–XVII centuries. In addition to the impregnable citadel, where the museum and hotel are located today, the castle complex includes an Italian Renaissance garden, an English park, a pond and a chapel[1] the tomb of the princes Svyatopolk-Mirsky.

Every year Mir Castle receives thousands of guests from different parts of our country and abroad – in 2021 their number exceeded 180 thousand. They come to admire the majestic structure, take part in knightly battles. Festivals of medieval, classical, jazz and electronic music are regularly held near the walls of the castle.

National Historical and Cultural Museum-Reserve “Nesvizh”. The ancient town is known far beyond the borders of Belarus. It is here that the palace and park ensemble, another residence of the Radziwill dynasty, as well as other unique historical and architectural monuments are located. The Nesvizh Church of the Body of God is the first Baroque church in Eastern Europe, which also houses the Radziwill family crypt (the third largest in Europe after the Habsburg and Bourbon tombs). The Nesvizh Town Hall, the oldest surviving in Belarus, was built in 1596, and the Slutskaya Brama in Nesvizh is the only surviving gate that was part of the system of city fortifications. In 2021, the museum[1]reserve was visited by almost 179 thousand guests.

The UNESCO World Heritage Site also includes elements of the Struve Geodetic Arc – a network of 265 points that crosses 10 states from north to south. There are 19 such points in Belarus.