National parks and sanatoriums are our brand names

Anzhelica MILTO, "Respublika", (The Republic) newspaper, No 89, May 19, 2006

How to raise interest of the tourists using good "product"

The ancient town Nesvizh invites
The ancient town Nesvizh invites

The one who will not have time will be overdue. This relates to the question on whether it should be taking care beforehand about booking places in sanatoriums of the Property Management Department of the President of Belarus. The most places in famous sanatoriums are booked even for June, do not mention about hottest summer months. But is everything ready to place mass visitors there to have a rest?

In general we like pioneers are always ready to provide our clients, who are resting the year round, with good serves. This is especially actual in the summer, Deputy of Manager of the Property Management Department of the President of Belarus Edward Matulis assured the reporters during the meeting in the National Press Centre. I shall remind that there are ten sanatoriums (five of them are within the territory of the country and the same number are abroad), a number of hotels and reserves including Berezinski, Narochanski, Pripyatski, Belovezhskaya Pushcha and Braslav Lakes subordinated now to the Property Management Department. The level of service and quality of medical treatment with the use of unique equipment make a progress every year in all of these objects while the spectrum of every possible service extends. The fact that the foreigners come to us with pleasure, for example to the mountain-ski health resort "Silichi", is the best confirmation of this statement. But it would be desirable, certainly, to get more attention to the national legacy from the side of tourists.

Unfortunately, this is yet not in order. The structure of national tourism sphere, according to the data of the Ministry of Sports and Tourism, consists of 80 percents of the away one, 16 percents of the entry one and 4 percents of the internal one. The fourth part of the tourists' flow covers the objects and sites subordinated to the Property Management Department of the President.

Belarus has unique opportunities. But it is still necessary to do much more in order to make the tourist product acceptable both in Belarus and abroad, manager of the Sector of Tourism Development of the Department of Protected Natural Territories and Nature Use at the Property Management Department Galina Zaburyanova said. Today it is necessary more actively to advance our national parks – the present Belarusian brand name - to the market of tourism services. This brand name already became attractive for the foreigners too. Long-term contracts which are made with the partners from Italy, Germany, Austria, France and other countries are testimony of this statement. Such the services as the National Park "Belovezhskaya Pushcha" invites to take part in "imperial hunting" for bison and the Reserve "Braslav Lakea" invites to take part in catching beavers are especially interesting.

Can all Belarusians afford to be resting in prestigious sanatoriums?

One of the main tasks of sanatoriums and health-improving facilities of the Property Management Department of the President is to ensure affordable level of places and excursion tours, head of the State Institution "CenterKurort" (Center-Sanatorium) Oleg Mikhailov said. For instance, the cost of one-day stay in our foreign sanatoriums is twice lower for the Belarusian citizen than for the citizens of other countries (it makes 850 Russian Roubles, ~ 28 US $). It allows to make rest and treatment more affordable for the Belarusians while, due to selling places for the foreigners, it's possible to improve technical base and infrastructure of the sanatoriums.

At last, it's about safety to have rest in Belarus. Rumours about water of the lake Naroch, one of the most popular among the Belarusians, ostensibly infected by waterfowl birds provoked a lot of racket last year.

The problem of water pollution in this lake, as a matter of fact, had no real state of affairs, Edward Matulis shattered rumours. I was resting myself last summer. Today this area is under the state program "Ecological improvement of the Naroch Lake" and after it reaches the end, for sure, no one will raise the question about safety of rest there.

Last year there was no case of disease of allergic dermatitis among the people resting in the sanatorium "Sosny" (Pines), chief-doctor of the sanatorium at Naroch Lake Alexander Voinov added.

As for the quality of water in other unique Reserve located in the Braslav Lakes' area, there are no doubts at all.

For example, according to the experts, water in the Volos Lake proved to be even clearer then one flowing in our water-pipes, General Director of the National park "Braslav Lakes" Ivan Kasianenko told. It is as clear and transparent as a thrown coin is visible on the depth of tens meters. Today the tourists both from Ukraine, Russia (the real pilgrimage is observed from there), Baltic countries and Belarus willingly come to us. We offer hunting, fishing, accessible and well-organized service. But there are also problems created by wild boars and beavers. They became as numerous last years (up to thousand specimens of wild boars and three to four thousand specimens of beavers while the biologists do not give sanctions to shoot beavers) as life of the local peasants made to be impossible here. The people are afraid to plant potato because wild boars will dig up the ground all the same. We are not aware of whence they appeared so numerous. Perhaps, we well follow the rules of biotechnology…

The only figures

The cost of one place per day in the health-improving complex "Priozerny" (450 places) make from 35,000 to 43,000 Belarusian Roubles (~ 17 – 21 US $) depending on comfort of the room. In the sanatorium "Sosny" (Pines) (184 places) it is from 44,000 to 54,000 Roubles (~ 21 – 26 US $). In the sanatorium "Belarus" in the city of Sochi it is from 36.3 to 40.2 US $. In the sanatorium "White Rus" in the town of Tuapse (478 places) it is from 40.8 to 51.9 US $.


---------------

The Note of the website's editor

Today it is necessary more actively to advance our national parks – the present Belarusian brand name - to the market of tourism services. This brand name already became attractive for the foreigners too. Long-term contracts which are made with the partners from Italy, Germany, Austria, France and other countries are testimony of this statement. Such the services as the National Park "Belovezhskaya Pushcha" invites to take part in "imperial hunting" for bison and the Reserve "Braslav Lakea" invites to take part in catching beavers are especially interesting.

Dear readers!

We consider necessary to pay your attention to the paragraph about national parks which we specially marked the bold format. This text, in the best possible way, CHARACTERIZES THE TRUE ATTITUDE of the present Belarusian authorities to reserved nature and its preservation.

Please, pay attention to the following facts. All Belarusian national parks and reserves are under subordination of the Property Management Department of the President of the Republic of Belarus. The newspaper "Republic" is one of the main state newspapers which provides propagation of the state politics and conducts the present state ideology. The professional journalists who know their business work in the editorial office of the newspaper. In this case, the responsible employee of the Property Management Department of the President who is obliged to lead and sound the politics of the Property Management Department was interviewed concerning national parks.

No one of the sane people does not doubt that it is necessary to actively advance national parks to the market of tourism services. However, the question is what kind of services of national parks should be advanced and what kind of these services should be priority? In our opinion, these are services which as much as possible correspond to nature protection legislation, which are directed to aim the purposes and tasks of national parks and which in the best way form positive international image of parks. These are, first of all, preservation of ecosystem, flora and fauna, and ecological educational tourism. But this should not be in any way the use of natural resources on protected natural territories, especially huntings to obtain currency. However according to the announcement by the responsible official of the Property Management Department of the President, it turns out that the most attractive and interesting kind of services to the National Park "Belovezhskaya Pushcha" to the foreigners is "an imperial hunting" for bison!!! This is the hunting for the animal which is listed in the Red Data Book and lives within the reserved territory! The comments, as the saying goes, are unnecessary.

Thus, can one say in this case that the Belarusian state represented by the officials of the Property Management Department of the President of the Republic of Belarus leads politics of morals, ethics, spirituality and humanity concerning wild reserved nature of Belovezhskaya Pushcha? Can one say in this case about priorities of preservation of nature in Belovezhskaya Pushcha or the main for the Belarusian state concerning reserved territories are money obtained from the use of natural resources? We think that the answers to these questions are obvious.

If it is so, please the last question. Maybe is this the main reason of all numerous infringements of nature protection legislation about which are written so much including on pages of the website "Belovezhskaya Pushcha - 21 Century " and which get no appropriate reaction from the side of the state bodies of the Republic of Belarus?

Heorhi Kazulka
Ph. Dr of Biology
Kamenyuki village, Belovezhskaya Pushcha