Official: Tourism within Commonwealth of Independent States is flat

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SAINT PETERSBURG, Russia – Tourism within the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) lags behind its true potential, but some encouraging trends have emerged, Chairman of the CIS Tourism Council, Deputy Minister of Sport and Tourism of Belarus Cheslav Shulga said at the 41st plenary session of the CIS Interparliamentary Assembly on 28 November.

“The progress in promoting the tourism leaves much to be desired, however, the industry has posted some growth trends. The CIS member states are interested is establishing a single tourism space. The European Union, for example, offers a common tourism space with the same visas,” Cheslav Shulga said.

He believes that the efforts should be directed into three areas of focus: better collaboration of tourism administrations, harmonization of legislations and joint efforts to promote tourism in the member states. “Within the next few years we will come up with new standards in the tourism industry. For example, a three-star hotel will meet the same requirements all over the CIS,” he noted.

Chairman of the CIS Executive Committee – CIS Executive Secretary Sergei Lebedev added that tourism plays an important role in the CIS, as it contributes to economic growth and promotes friendly ties between the states. “We need to make a focus on the youth tourism, eco-tourism and rural tourism,” Sergei Lebedev said.