27 July 2016
In April 2016 the NGO Priceconomics published an article entitled Which Countries Are the Most / Least Overrun by Tourists? in which Belarus was ranked the 11th least popular country for tourists.
The fact that a central European country is as appealing to tourists as Niger, Chad, or Sudan has already caused much discussion in Belarus.
Two facts add fuel to these discussions....
19 July 2016
A private sleeping train compartment in Belarus costs around $6 for an eight hour trip. This is around 70 times cheaper than travelling with a Western equivalent such as the American Amtrak.
Contributing around 2.2% to yearly Belarusian GDP, Belarusian Railway is a large governmental enterprise employing 79,000 people and providing 5,500 km of railway connections.
- 22 February 2016
14 January 2016
03 November 2015
The suspension of air traffic between Ukraine and Russia on 25 October has created a new opportunity for Belarus.
The national air carrier, Belavia, and the national aviation authorities reacted quickly by increasing aircraft capacity on the routes between Minsk and Kyiv and negotiating with Kiev over the opening of new routes to Ukraine.
Belarus already has experience in...
30 October 2015
In geographical terms, Belarus lies at the heart of Europe. It borders the European Union. Its capital Minsk can be reached from London by plane in less than three hours. Even so, the first time visitor may encounter a number of features of life here that will surprise.
An apparent obsession with Red Tape and Bureaucracy, particularly within Officialdom, can both amuse and infuriate....
29 September 2015
Belarus Digest starts a series of articles on tourism in Belarus prepared by Nigel Roberts, a a UK-based freelance travel writer specialising in Belarus.
I first visited this extraordinary and much misunderstood country in 2001. I have returned many times since then to explore widely, initially working on sustainable development projects with families in communities blighted by...
17 February 2015
Whilst 2014 was a bad year for the Belarusian economy on the whole, it brought in plenty of profit for Belavia, Belarusian Airlines and Minsk National Airport.
Without any competition from low-cost airlines, Belavia has been able to safely modernise its fleet of planes and not lose its grip on the market. Whereas in the past the National Airport looked like a trip back to the USSR...
- 05 May 2014
10 February 2014
It jumps out at you right after you come back from a foreign land: Minsk is not like Vilnius, Warsaw or Prague. Indeed, it is not like anywhere else.
And obviously, this concerns not only its "deserted streets" or the perception that there are "a lot of police." At least, it's not all that simple. Let's try and deduce the reasons that...
25 September 2013
Establishing oneself as a foreigner in a new city can be a challenge, not only because of cultural and linguistic barriers, but also due to social norms.
It’s often easier to meet and befriend fellow expatriates or members of the international community than it is to blend into the local crowd. Of course, some cities have a much larger international community than others, and, as...
13 June 2012
"We do not cultivate the idea of sex tourism in Belarus. But if [a foreign tourist] has an interest, let him look for it, meet girls and marry".
This is how the deputy Minister of Sports and Tourism Cheslau Shulha recently answered a question about the growing sex industry in Belarus on a state TV channel.
While the Belarusian authorities...