By Anastasia Yanushevskaya
The system has been launched on the national tourist portal www.belarustourism.by with the aid of Belarusian Generation_P Consulting Ltd. as part of a project to create a single tourist information network. At present, the system unites around 40 hotels, including ten in the Belarusian capital. A hotel room can be booked using a bank card, from which a defined sum is withdrawn as a deposit, deducted from the balance on finally paying for the room. Two online reservation opportunities are envisaged: with instant confirmation and upon request. In the latter case, tourists wait some time to receive conformation from hotel staff.
According to the Head of the National Tourism Agency’s Department for Marketing and Publishing Activity, Valery Boldyrev, the number of participants of the online booking system will be constantly expanded. In future, not only large hotels, but family-run smaller hotels in the countryside will join the system. In total, over 250 hotels and guesthouses operate in Belarus; however, those located in the regions often lack the necessary technology to connect to the system. The national online hotel reservation system is to be integrated with that of an international system, enabling foreigners to book Belarusian hotel rooms online.
Specialists believe that the creation of the national hotel online reservation system and its further connection to world reservation systems will enhance Belarus’ competitiveness on the world market for tourist services. The system will allow the booking of tours, excursions and transport services, as well as tickets for various cultural and sporting events.
The project to create a single tourist information system has been implemented since 2009, aiming to enhance tourists’ access to information. The network unites tourist operators and other representatives of the tourist market: hotels, national parks, museums and sanatoriums, as well as organisations distributing tourist information.