Journeys have their own geography
Tastes differ but Belarusians still prefer to travel to Turkey, Greece, Spain, Egypt and Bulgaria for their holidays, although front-runner Greece has been overtaken in popularity by Turkey of late. Regular flights to the two and reasonably priced hotels are inspiring families to make their choice. Experts predict that Greece could return to first place in 2013 if another economic crisis doesn’t hit
By Viktar Andrejev
Over recent years, Belarusian travellers have changed their approach to planning vacations. Travel agencies note that more people are choosing to travel in the winter months — to the exotic Maldives, Goa, Sri Lanka and, even, Mexico. The traditional holiday period of April to October with a little ‘splash’ at New Year, is becoming a thing of the past. A few years ago, Mexico was considered to be as unattainable as the Moon: nobody offered tours there from Minsk. Now, little by little, we are discovering this part of America.
Beautiful Croatia has been promoted for many years by travel agents to little avail, especially since visas remain elusive. This pearl of former Yugoslavia fails to appeal to those seeking inexpensive yet high-quality holidays. Nevertheless, the Crimea remains unrivalled, and Egypt will continue to be in demand if it isn’t shaken by more civil unrest — as witnessed in Tahrir Square. In 2013, Belarus will gain access to Majorca, via two large companies, and visa-free Montenegro is likely to prove popular. The Ministry of Sports and Tourism notes that Belarusians visit neighbouring Russia, Ukraine, Poland, Lithuania and Latvia more than any other country.
Mogilev, the new cultural capital of Belarus and the CIS, is sure to draw domestic tourists, helped by the reconstruction of the M4, which leads from Minsk to the regional centre, allowing super fast travel. From the highest tower at Mogilev City Hall, you can admire the Dnieper flood plain, looking over ancient St Nikolas’ Church and beyond, towards Buinichi Field. Other attractions include a folk village, zoo and a memorial complex marking Great Patriotic War battlefields. German tourists who visited during the filming of ONT’s Welcome to Belarus were fascinated by Mogilev and its rich history.