Belarus at National Geographic Awards
This week, the National Geographic Traveler magazine published the results of the National Geographic Traveler Awards 2015, a competition, in which winners are determined by the results of online voting. Belarus was named the second best country for agritourism with 22% of votes, only losing to Italy (26% of votes). More than 240 thousand readers took part in the poll.
Valeria Klitsunova, Chairperson of the Belarusian association Country Escape, says that it’s a tremendous victory for Belarus. While Italy is a recognized leader in agritourism, she believes that our country may become a Slavic Italy.
In recent years, farmstead owners have become more creative in their approach to business. For instance, they open museums of bread and bees at the farmsteads and offer new services to their visitors, including making a horseshoe or visiting ecotrails.
At the moment, there are more than 2,200 farmsteads in Belarus. Minsk and Vitebsk regions have the biggest number of them. In 2014, 330 thousand people, 85% of which were Belarusians and 15% were foreigners, visited the farmsteads.
Belarus is also represented in other categories at the National Geographic Traveler Awards 2015. It was ranked 10th in the Family Vacation category and 8th in Wellness Vacation.
Belavia, the national airline company of Belarus, made it to the 7th place in the category Best International Airline Company, sharing its place with such companies as AZAL, Cathay Pacific, Etihad, KLM, Qantas, Qatar Airways, Ryanair, Singapore Airlines, Wizzair, and Aeroflot.