Land of warmth and positivity
Russians holiday in the Belarusian countryside, as families or couples, with and without children, arriving by car, train and plane
At Lake NarochHolidaying in Belarus is affordable, regardless of your tastes or finances. Belarus boasts wonderful natural beauty, as well as friendly people and great service. What more is needed for a summer break?
According to the Russian travel.ru online tourist service, in 2015, Belarus became the most popular destination within the CIS for independent holiday-making Russians. Belarus topped the five most popular destinations, accounting for 37 percent of all travels: 22 percent headed to Ukraine, 16 percent to Kazakhstan, 9 percent to Azerbaijan, and 7 percent to Armenia. The remaining CIS states account for just 9 percent of all tourist destinations for Russians.
Online bookings have risen by 60 percent (in comparison to 2014) and the ‘average spend’ for each Russian guest is around $70 a day on accommodation alone. They stay for 4.5 days, on average.
Russians have also voted for the best ‘value for money’ CIS city destination, with Minsk standing in the top ten alongside Kiev, Almaty, Baku, Yerevan, Astana, Vitebsk, Bishkek, Tashkent and Chisinau. Other Belarusian cities — such as Brest, Grodno and Gomel — are among the top 20 most popular travel destinations for Russians.
The most popular places to which tourists head are Kyrgyzstan’s Lake Issyk-Kul, followed by Belarusian Naroch, Lake Borovoe in Kazakhstan, Azerbaijan’s Nabran and Armenian Sevan.
Another online tourist booking site — оktogo.ru — tells us that most independent Russian travellers (those not with groups) choose Minsk above other CIS cities, followed by Bishkek, Almaty, Tbilisi, Yerevan, Baku, Astana, Chisinau and Tashkent. Independent holidaymakers are growing in number, since it’s much cheaper to do so, although there are ‘risks’ involved. However, in choosing Minsk and Belarus, Russians know that they’ll be heading to a warm welcome, since we share the same mentality. Moreover, no visas or foreign passports are needed.
Anyone choosing to visit Belarus will enjoy diverse and rich opportunities for relaxation, paying around 1,200 Russian Roubles per night to stay at a spa hotel. According to TsentrKurort RUE, Russians pay just 10-15 percent more than native Belarusians.
By Maxim Plotnikov