On February 14, the final press conference of the EU project "Support Sustainable Tourism Development in Belarus" was held in Minsk. During the press conference also promotional materials were presented, which were designed for the promotion of Belarus and Belarusian regions both on the international and domestic tourism market.
Deputy Minister of Sports and Tourism Mikhail Portnoy spoke about the results of the work of the Belarusian tourism industry and noted the importance of the EU project. In particular, Mikhail Portnoy said: "I would like to thank to EU project "Support to Sustainable Tourism Development in Belarus" and all the specialists involved for the excellent work in frame of this project. Thanks to joint efforts, we find new directions for effective investments in Belarusian tourism development. Last year the republican budget received about 170 million dollars from the tourism industry, and we hope to increase its profitability in Belarus in the near future".
Head of the Delegation of the European Union Andrea Victorin also spoke about the importance of EU-funded projects aimed at sustainable development of the Belarusian regions: "With this project we have invested ca 1.7 Mio EUR in five Belarusian destinations. This project brought leading European expertise, technics, approaches, marketing and capacity building to create new and update well-known regional touristic brands and products".
Representatives of pilot destinations also stressed the importance of the results obtained for the development of tourism at the local level and thanked all participants for their fruitful cooperation. Concluding remarks were made by the head of the EU project "Support to Sustainable Tourism Development in Belarus" Janez Sirse:
"I am an optimist and believe in the future development of tourism in Belarus," Janez Sirse said. "It is important to understand that tourism brings income not only from the sale of tickets and hotels. Profit in tourism can be made by many indirect ways, so the appearance of tourists always initiates the spirit of entrepreneurship in the region, which is beneficial to its development. The state should pay attention to tourism both centrally and at the local level, maintain bilateral relations and determine priorities in the areas of development. Regional tourism should not be amateur, it needs to be developed professionally. This requires a strategic vision, understanding of the tourism market, meeting the needs of tourists, motivation of target audience".
About the project:
The aim of the EU project "Support to Sustainable Tourism Development in Belarus" was to promote and provide technical assistance to the subjects of the tourism industry in Belarus. The geography of the project included five pilot destinations: Aŭhustoŭski kanal, Kamianiec-Pružany, Mscіslaŭ, Miadziel and Polack.
Within two years the project developed sustainable tourism development strategies for five pilot destinations and step-by-step action plans. In addition, for each of the pilot destinations of the project own logos and brand strategies were developed. Variants of the tourist logo and the brand strategy were also proposed for Belarus.
To promote the country and the pilot destinations of the project on the tourism market, the project team developed promotional materials that were printed in 4 languages with a circulation of more than 100 000 copies. For the same purpose presentation videos were produced for each of the destinations of the project.
The project made a significant contribution to the introduction in Belarus of an tourism satelite account (TSA), an international methodology for the integrated accounting of tourism statistics. In the course of the project, the Belarusian tourism industry specialists organized both international study trips and trips on the exchange of experience within Belarus. More than 700 Belarusian specialists took part in thematic trainings and seminars of the project.
The EU project "Support to Sustainable Tourism Development in Belarus" was implemented from August 17, 2015 to February 16, 2018 by a consortium led by European Profiles S. A. in cooperation with a group of international and Belarusian experts and tourism professionals.
More information about project activities, deliverables and promotional materials can be found on the official website of the project at www.stdbelarus.com.