Chinese coronavirus a blow for Belarus' tourism industry

Chinese tourists in Belarus /

Chinese are the most traveling people in the world, and Belarus tries to earn on it as well. In addition to the usual sightseeing tourism, Minsk hosted a big corporate conference from China last year.  The two-week-long business tour yielded $1.5 million in revenues.

"In the course of two weeks, we received over 2300 Chinese guests. We had not had a conference of such a size before. It was an excellent experience and unprecedented financial result. At the moment, we cannot get such orders from any other market than China," Belintourist branch head Aliaksej Strelčanka told reporters on 4 February in Minsk.

Strelčanka reckons Belarus has the potential to become a venue for business conferences. Unfortunately, all the projects for 2020 have been frozen.

"We reached several agreements for 2020 but the talks have been suspended due to the coronavirus outbreak. The situation has affected both tourism and educational projects. If the outbreak is localized in February, we could resume normal business in May," Strelčanka said.