Nearly $2m from USAID to develop farm tourism in Belarus
A project of the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) has been launched in Belarus.
Titled as "Local entrepreneurship and economic development", the project will be implemented in the Brest Region and Hrodna Hrodna. It is designed to encourage economic growth and the development of the regions through giving incentives to farm tourism entities. According to UN/UNDP representative Antonius Broek, the project will contribute to the propagation of environmentally friendly tourism. As part of the project new marketing moves and information delivery channels will be tested. In addition, the businessmen, who take part in the development of tourism in the Brest Region and the Hrodna Region, will be trained.
The project includes 25 actions that will be taken before 13 February 2015. "Tourism has no borders. The project will develop transboundary cooperation and partnership between tourism entities and tourists themselves," believes Antonius Broek. The project will also contribute to the formation of public private partnership based on a cluster model.
The project’s total budget is $1.95 million. It will be implemented by USAID in association with the United Nations Development Organisation. The Belarusian Sports and Tourism Ministry will be the national organization in charge of accomplishing the project.
Vadzim Karmazin, Director of the Tourism Department of the Sports and Tourism Ministry, said that it is the first time such a large-scale international technical aid project aimed at promoting farm tourism has been initiated in Belarus. The project complements government programs, including the national program for developing the Pripyat Palessie area, which lay down the foundation for the development of rural tourism and farm tourism in Belarus.
The official said: "We don’t plan to stop on that. We plan to expand the positive practices into other regions of the country".
USA Charge d’Affaires Ethan Goldrich underlined that, in addition to all the other things, the project will contribute to the attraction of foreign investments to Belarus. "Belarus has undertaken the task of entering the top 30 countries with the best business terms," he explained. "A lot will depend on the conditions, which are created for the development of entrepreneurship in the country".
John Riordan, Country Director of the USAID for Belarus, was of the same opinion. In his words, the project will contribute to further business development in Brest Region and Hrodna Region and will help bolster transboundary cooperation.