Figures brought to account
This is not the first year that there has been controversy surrounding how much our country earns from the export of tourism services
The official statistics gives the figure of $235.3m. The Ministry for Sports and Tourism plans for the current year to reach $335m. There are other figures under debate, a billion Dollars or even more, spent by tourists through travel agencies and indirectly in restaurants, museums and clubs.
The official statistics calculate these incomes a little differently than in other countries of the world. As a result, there are differing views on the importance of this sector of the economy. In particular, BelStat (National Statistical Committee of Belarus) confirms that tourism accounts for less than 1 percent of GDP. For comparison: in 2012, the World Tourism Council made an approximate analysis where many different indices were considered. It came to the conclusion that the share of this sector in the gross domestic product could be 6 percent and more.
In order to see the impact of tourism on the economy of our country exact figures are essential. This is important for the development of our society, and to increase the attractiveness of investment in the industry. At the Council of Ministers, a working group has been created; it will present the first stage of its findings into the issue by next April.
By Oleg Mikloshevich