Abandoned villages reviving

Abandoned villages to be offered for use as tourist objects almost free of charge

By Andrey Anufriev

There are many villages in Belarus which are almost deserted. “This is especially common for the northern regions of Vitebsk and Grodno, where villages exist in great numbers,” noted the Deputy Minister for Sports and Tourism, Cheslav Shulga, on meeting a delegation from the Krasnodar Krai (which visited Belarus to learn from its experience).

Due to people’s ageing, 12 villages in the Braslav District alone are no longer considered to be true settlements, lacking a large enough population. “We’re working on finding investors for such villages, who’ll pay a symbolic fee to be able to transform them into tourist sites,” Mr. Shulga tells us.

Some willing buyers have already come forward in the Vitebsk Region’s Rossony District and in the Minsk Region’s Kopyl District. Abandoned and existing villages are to be made available. Mr. Shulga mentions one Belarusian businessman who made money in the Leningrad Region but has now bought a Belarusian village in the Pruzhany District (where his mother used to live), to establish a tourist complex there. “Moreover, he has invested huge sums in the development of a sports complex,” added Mr. Shulga.

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