Israel, Belarus sign tourism agreement

Tourism Minister Stas Misezhnikov, Belarusian counterpart sign five-year agreement aimed at increasing tourism traffic between two nations

Tourism Minister Stas Misezhnikov and his Belarusian counterpart Sports and Tourism Minister Oleg Kachan signed an agreement in Minsk last week to increase tourist flow between the two countries.

The agreement, that was signed for a five-year period after which it will be automatically renewed, is meant to generate a rise in tourist traffic by increasing joint activity in the wholesales field and upgrading relations with existing and new airlines.

In addition, the agreement includes stepping up cooperation between the two nations' tourism authorities, training manpower, exchanging experts in the field, distributing tourism material and information and more.

Upon signing the agreement, the ministers said their countries recognize the power of the tourism industry to improve the quality of life of their residents and the role the industry plays in promoting peace and understanding.

Misezhnikov also meat with Belarusian Economy Minister Nikolai Zaichenko and Foreign Minister Sergei Martynov.

He said in a statement that followed: "In the next few years, the Tourism Ministry will strengthen its cooperation with the main source countries for incoming tourism to Israel, while also increasing its activities in additional countries in Eastern Europe and Asia."

The minister added, "These activities will concentrate on removing obstacles, strengthening ties and implementing targeted marketing activities in order to realize the tourism potential from these countries."

In 2008, some 18,000 Belarusian tourists visited Israel - a 67% rise from the 10,800 who visited in 2007.



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