Mir, Nesvizh and Polotsk enjoy greatest demand

Silichi Ski Resort fully booked over festive period, with guests from far and wide eager to sample its delights

By Alexander Yevseev

Silichi Ski Resort fully booked over festive period, with guests from far and wide eager to sample its delights

Mir Castle expects new guests
Mir Castle expects new guests

Silichi’s sales staff explain that Russians are the most common guests but that tourists from the Baltic States, Poland and Germany are also rising in number. According to the Ministry for Sports and Tourism, from January-July 2014, around 67 percent of all tourists came to Belarus from the CIS: 62 percent were from Russia. British guests made up 6.3 percent (second place), followed by Germans (5.8 percent).

The Deputy Minister for Sports and Tourism, Cheslav Shulga, comments, “This year, the number of Russian tourists grew significantly, from an already strong position. In particular, we are registering more people from Smolensk, Bryansk and Pskov.” He notes that, in the first eight months of the year, Russians spent around $149m in Belarus: up 12.3 percent on the same period of 2013. This may be because Russians are choosing to ignore Europe (which is focused on sanctions). Meanwhile, Egypt and Turkey are suddenly more expensive. Of course, Belarus is a neighbouring state, with a similar mentality. Moreover, Russians have never been overly fond of independent travel, preferring to visit Belarus as part of an organised group. According to Mr. Shulga, this year, an increased number of Russians joined excursion programmes. Tours to Mir, Nesvizh and Polotsk remain most popular but those along ‘green routes’ are gaining popularity, as are Belarusian camping sites and homesteads.
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