You are welcome to a web-page of the Belarusian Association of Rural and Ecotourism “Country Escape”.
Belarusian rural tourism is ten years in 2012. This statement is quite ambitious. Indeed, it has existed from all eternity in a spontaneous, unorganized form. It is safe to say that the idea of rural tourism development was in the air. In spite of Belarus is the only country in Europe where there is no sea, no mountains. But we have a considerable potential for the development of this type of tourism – 20 000 rivers, 10 000 lakes, 36 % of the territory of Belarus is covered with forests and 7% - with national parks. And at the same time hospitable and tolerant rural population and great number of villages that so little in have changed since the XIX century. Idyll and pastoral!
It is difficult to imagine anyone in Belarusian society to whom the idea of rural tourism may be indifferent. For villagers it can bring extra income and opportunity to improve their housing. For local authorities and for the whole region it is inflow of additional financing, infrastructure development, creation of new workplaces. For the whole country it is the opportunity for tourism development outside the cities, where there are no hotels and discrepancies between town and country. For tourists it is the best opportunity of inexpensive vacation in ecologically clean place.
But we didn’t have any organizational beginning which could unite people and give the opportunity of this remarkable idea to become a reality. On the 20th of November 2002 we created Association “Agro- and Ecotourism” and we believe that exactly this date can be announced the Birthday of Belarusian Rural Tourism. There were people among initiators who have already worked in this sphere: workers of the museum of rural culture and lifestyle “Dudutky”, professionals in tourism and simply patriots of the country.
Now we are over 800 people. These are mainly rural inhabitants who want to get a new profession and to organize B&B service on their farmsteads. These are people of different ages and professions: teachers, farmers, economists, retired people, and youth. They want to start their private business, to provide appropriate conditions to their families and at the same time to put life into their frequently dieing villages.
It is hard to predict whether rural tourism can save a Belarusian countryside. But it is not possible to save it without rural tourism!
Yes, we are the last country in Europe which chooses this road. It is good on the one hand. We have a lot of good examples and development models. On the other hand we are the last. It means we have to work hard to overtake and surpass the other countries!
Rural tourism is a noble type of tourism. We are following this way for many years. This is an exciting and interesting work! Join us!
You will find a lot of useful information on our web-site.
Chairman of the Board