When dreams come true
[b]Over the last two years, ten new sanatoriums have appeared in our country[/b]Our number of health resorts has been increasing annually, with ten opening over the last two years. The Director of the Republican Centre for Recuperation and Sanatorium-Resort Treatment, Nikolay Mazur, tells us, “Most vouchers to our main sanatoriums (including Naroch) are now sold.”Altogether, 368 health resorts and spas operate in Belarus, hosting 1,346,300 people in 2011. In all, 600,000 vouchers were given free of charge for citizens of Belarus, while 193,500 fee-paying foreigners also visited (15,000 more than in 2010): 95 percent were from Moscow and St. Petersburg.
Altogether, 368 health resorts and spas operate in Belarus, hosting 1,346,300 people in 2011. In all, 600,000 vouchers were given free of charge for citizens of Belarus, while 193,500 fee-paying foreigners also visited (15,000 more than in 2010): 95 percent were from Moscow and St. Petersburg.
Belarusians pay less to attend spas than those with foreign passports: $200 for 12 days in a double room in the Naroch spa compared to $300 for Russian citizens. Those from other countries pay even more. Mr. Mazur asserts, “However, such prices are considered very low on the world market — especially since we provide five meals a day and modern treatments. Belarus offers high-level service and food, as well as a peaceful, safe environment, good facilities and low prices.”
Belarus has three health resorts on the Black Sea coast (in Russia and Ukraine), another on the Baltic Sea coast (in Jūrmala, Latvia) and one more in the Lithuanian resort of Druskininkai. It costs just 600 Euros for 12 days at Druskininkai, with demand from Belarusian tourists ever rising. The Director of the State Tourism Department of Lithuania, Raymonda Balnene, tells us that, in 2011, the country was visited by 26 percent more tourists from Belarus than in 2010: about 400,000 people. Ms. Balnene admits, “Belarusians were foremost among visitors, ahead of Russians, Germans, Poles and Latvians. Every fifth tourist was Belarusian in Lithuania last year. Spa-health-tourism was especially popular.”
Of course, Russians tend to be greatest in number among tourists to Belarus while Belarusians also visit the health resorts of their eastern neighbour. The Ministry for Sports and Tourism of Belarus and the Department for Complex Development of Resorts and Tourism of Krasnodar Krai have agreed to use Union State budget funds to subsidise the cost of trips for children, those with disabilities and those on low-incomes, allowing them to travel to Belarusian health resorts and rural estates and to the Black Sea.
Holidays in Belarus are popular among our neighbouring countries, as the Rector of the Russian International Academy for Tourism, Igor Zorin, notes. He believes Belarusian spas to be not only cheaper than Russian counterparts but praises their cleanliness, their tasty and nutritious menus and their polite, friendly service.
The Head of Centre for Sanatorium Work at TsentrKurort, Oleg Mikhailov, has calculated that Belarusian spas are around half the cost of those in Moscow and St. Petersburg. Mr. Mazur adds, “Israelis, alongside those from Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia, are regular visitors to health resorts in Belarus. The Poles and Germans have also begun to come in greater numbers recently.”
By Viktar Andrejeu
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