If you want to receive foreigners, you must report them to the police department within three hours. This resolution was adopted in Belarus last autumn. It is another blow for the Belarusian small business.
Yulia Buka is the proprietress of the agro-recreation “Rodny Kut” in the Hludokaye district. In addition to doing agritourism, she also keeps a fairly large farm. Therefore, she does not have time to leave foreign guests and go to Hlubokaye to register them.
“If I receive foreign guests, but not make the documents, sooner or later I will be charged and I will pay fines for it. Why should I be my own enemy? So let the guests stay where there is a reception desk, where there are special services. And we will be working for Belarusians,” said Yulia Buka.
Last year, Buka had an unpleasant experience, after which she decided to no longer deal with foreign tourists.
“We cook a special kind of borshch. We cook it the way our grandfathers did. This service made us fairly well known. And one travel agency wanted to bring to us American tourists who rested in Belarus for five days, so that they tried our dish,” said Buka.
The Americans came only for dinner, they did not even stay here for three hours. However, the registry office found out about the visit, and the owner faced a fine. The incident was later exhausted, but the feeling remained.
Of course, you don’t have to go to the registry office, but make an electronic registration via the site. However, you have to pay for everything.
“In case there are many foreigners, you can connect an electronic portal and register them yourself. You only have to pay a certain amount for this and get access to this portal in Polatsk. But if there are no foreigners, then it makes no sense to do it, it’s easier to bring them here [to the registry office], “the head of the passport desk of the Hlubokaya District Department of Internal Affairs, Dzmitry Khakholka, told Belsat.
Another owner of the agricultural estate, Uladzimir Ivankovich, says that the potential for agrotourism is big, but it is difficult to fully realize it. This is hampered, among other things, by the compulsory registration of foreigners.
“A paper came from the police, which says, as I understand it, that we will have spies coming to us, and they must be put on the register. Such people could immediately be chipped on the border to prevent any ‘accidents” says Ivankovich.
Ivankovich admits that it is not difficult for him to register foreign tourists, but this procedure scares away potential customers.
The authorities, however, do not tire of repeating that they support the development of agro-tourism in Belarus in every way.
Mikhail Ilyin; of the photo – ViKtar Drachev / TASS / Forum