NEWS ARCHIVE: JANUARY 2009

January 28, 2009 Website "Travel.ru" A new hotel has been opened in Belovezhskaya Pushcha


The National Park is now able to take
more tourists. //npbp.brest.by
A hotel located within the territory of the National Park "Belovezhskaya Pushcha" in Belarus has recently hosted its first tourists. The hotel has 39 rooms including ordinary one- and two-beds, and superior and deluxe rooms.

A conference-hall, a 25 meters long swimming pool, a sauna, a fitness center and a bar will be opened for tourists very soon.

Before there were only 2 small hotels for 12 and 18 hotel rooms for visitors on the territory of the National Park, and also 9 hotel rooms in the mansion of Count Tyshkevich.

The moment the management of the National park is now working actively in order to extend the capacities of the tourist infrastructure - a hotel for 50 hotel rooms is being renovated in Kamenyuki, a new administrative and ecologic center with a Museum of nature is being built in the National park. All these projects should be completed before the 600th anniversary of Belovezhskaya Pushcha since its first nature protection decrees being in December this year as the Belarusian Telegraph Agency informs.
January 23, 2009 "Vecherniy Brest" (The Evening Brest) newspaper All ways lead to Belovezhskaya Pushcha

Belovezhskaya Pushcha breaks all records for tourists visited it before.

190 thousand people have come to admire beauty of the oldest flatland European forest in 2007, while their amount, according to information learned from the reserve, has grown up to 270 thousand in 2008. 160 thousand visitors were "registered" in the Grandfather Frost's residence. Since New Year the number of the people wishing to see Belovezhskaya Pushcha are not less. In January 50 thousand tourists have visited the national park.

"VB" News Service.
January 22, 2009 "Respublika" (The Republic) newspaper, No 11 A first class room in the relic forest

Belovezhskaya Pushcha. A new hotel which was open in the reserved forest welcomes first visitors to offer them first class rooms. As to the variety of the offered services this hotel is the most original in the country. One can see picturesque views from its windows. Inside of the hotel there is a 25-meter swimming pool with four swimming tracks and a sport training hall. The hotel is the first object of the tourist complex which was already put into operation. Its other buildings should be complet by September of this year, on time of the 600th anniversary since first nature protection the National Park "Belovezhskaya Pushcha" will celebrate.

Fedor MUCHA
January 22, 2009 "Narodnaya Gazeta" (The People’s Newspaper) newspaper, No 11 Six regions give six news

The Kamenetz district. A new shape by the jubilee

The scaling work on preparation for celebration of the 600th anniversary since first nature protection is in the progress in the National Park "Belovezhskaya Pushcha". By September about hundred new and reconstructed objects, basically in the territory of the Kamenetz district of the Brest region, will be put into operation there. The outlines of the administrative and ecological centre with the museum of nature and with the modern conference hall are beginning to emerge. The construction of roads and houses for young experts and the overhaul and modernization in the forest areas are in the progress. The village of Kamenyuki, administrative center of the national park, will also be changed.

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The news is placed in the short-cut form
The BP-21 Century editor's note
January 21, 2009 "Respublika" (The Republic) newspaper, No 10 Hunt for wolves in progress, hunt in progress…

The Brest region. A full-grown wolf being encircled by hunters of the Nikor and Khvoyniki forest area of the National Park "Belovezhskaya Pushcha" dashed to be far from the line of small red flags. Its she-partner had not enough courage to do the same and it was killed by the forester Alexandr Bushko. 25 men including its initiator – director general of the National Park "Belovezhskaya Pushcha" Nikolai Bambiza - participated in this hunting. Alexandr Bokach, forestry officer of the Nikor forest area, was the direct organizer of the battue for grey predators.

Since early morning he managed the hunters to puzzle out tracks of predators they found out in the northeast part of the relic forest. Only by evening they were able to make the red flag ring along the perimeter of one kilometer square where a wolf couple was found, then to post hunters at their points and to start hunting.

I hope, Alexandr Bokach has told to the reporter, this winter will allow to make many hunting rounds collectively like this. This serves the need to reach a biological balance because the full-grown predator consumes up to one and a half tons of meat for one year, basically ungulates and sometimes cattle.

Fedor Mukha
January 20, 2009 Website "BELTA" Belarus among TravelMail’s ten top travel destinations for 2009

Well-known British tourism portal TravelMail (www.travelmail.co.uk) has named Belarus among the top ten travel destinations for 2009

According to TravelMail, Belarus has a lot to offer. The top attractions include the national park Belovezhskaya Pushcha, Europe’s oldest national park.

The Belarusian capital, Minsk, is a fascinating city. TravelMail says, “the national symbol of Belarus is the bison, but a phoenix might be more appropriate. Being slap in the middle of the route armies have used on their way to try to conquer Moscow, Minsk has had to recreate itself from the ashes of war many times over: most of the city was flattened during World War II and had to be rebuilt almost from scratch”. In order to get a better feel of the history, travellers are advised to visit the Brest Fortress.

Along with Belarus the top ten travel destinations for 2009 include Australia, the USA, Egypt, Poland, Mexico, the UAE, Aruba (the Caribbean Islands), the Galapagos Islands, and Malaysia.

Anastasia Yanushevskaya
January 16, 2009 Website "BelTA" The National park "Belovezhskaya Pushcha" was visited in the year 2008 by a record number of people

Nearly 270 thousand people visited Belovezhskaya Pushcha in 2008, as BELTA was reported from the administration of the National park.

In comparison with 2007 the number of tourists has increased to 40 percents, and during the last five years it has increased up to 2.5 times. Among the tourists there are not only citizens of Belarus but also visitors from the near and further abroad. By the way, the number of foreign visitors in the reserve has increased by 8 percents in 2008.

As was explained in the administration, such a crucial rise of Pushcha's popularity was due to Grandfather Frost who has been living here for five years. During the last year nearly 160 thousand visitors came to the Frost because they wanted to visit him.

In 2009 which is under agenda of the 600th anniversary since first nature protection decrees, it is expected that number of visitors will be increased. The present year is meaningful in the history of Belovezhskaya Pushcha due to the 600th anniversary of its nature protection. It is expected to have a number of cultural activities to enhance tourist and scientific interest to the oldest European forest.

"Belovezhskaya Pushcha" is one of the oldest protected area in the world. In 1992 by the decision of UNESCO it was included in a list of World Cultural and Natural Heritage, in 1993 Pushcha was granted a status of biosphere reserve, and in 1998 it became the key international ornithological territory. The length of the territory from the North to the South is more then 60 km, from the West to the East is from 10 to 50 km. It covers the area of 163,505 hectares, 20 percent of which is under strict protection.
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Translated by Anastasia Anokhina
January 15, 2009 Website "BelTA" A new hotel has been opened in Belovezhskaya Pushcha

The management of the National park "Belovezhskaya Pushcha" informed the journalist of BELTA that the new hotel has already hosted its first tourists in January.

The new hotel has 39 comfortable rooms (one- and two-beds, superior and deluxe suites). A new conference-hall, a 25 meters long swimming pool, a sauna, a fitness center and a bar will be opened for tourists very soon after the signing of the State Certificate of Acceptance.

Before there were only 2 small hotels for 12 and 18 hotel rooms for visitors on the territory of the National park. There are also 9 hotel rooms in the mansion of Count Tyshkevich. Thanks to the new hotel the National park will be able to host more tourists. It’s important because the number of its visitors has doubled in the last 5 years.

It should be noted that at the moment the management of the National park is working actively in order to boost the capacities of Belovezhskaya Pushcha to host tourists. For example, a hotel for 50 hotel rooms has been renovated in Kamenyuki. A new ecologic center with a Museum of nature is being built in the National park. All these projects should be completed this year before the 600th anniversary of Belovezhskaya Pushcha since its first nature protection decrees being in December. The open-air cages for animals shall be also renovated before the celebration, besides there will be new tourist attractions built in the Grandfather Frost’s manor.

Olga Kobiak
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Translated by Olga Tumar
January 15, 2009 Website "BELTA" Easy access to border zone in Belarus as from February

Starting February 2009 visits into the Belarusian border zone will be significantly facilitated both for Belarusians and foreign citizens, Chairman of the State Border Committee of Belarus Igor Rachkovsky told President of Belarus Alexander Lukashenko on January 15.

The State Border Committee of Belarus has come forward with an initiative to reduce the border zone from 50 km to 10-15 km. The move is supposed to encourage tourism and favourably influence the economy of border regions, noted Igor Rachkovsky. Admittance to the zone will be drastically eased. A Belarusian will need only to pay a state duty, present a passport and get a permit from any border post. A foreign national will have to apply to the State Border Committee of Belarus or a border regiment to get a permit within 5-7 days. According to Igor Rachkovsky, with the measures in place, fishing, hiking and sightseeing in the border zone will be much simpler.

He said they had borrowed the practice from Latvia, Lithuania and Poland, which rules are stricter. Igor Rachkovsky remarked, the decision-making of the Belarusian border service had been guided by interests of individuals. The measures will also increase the number of people, who are eager to visit places of interests such as the Augustow Canal and hard-to-reach areas of the Belovezhskaya Pushcha.

The official said, although Latvia and Lithuania acceded to the Schengen zone treaty, the number of foreign citizens willing to visit Belarus did not decrease in 2008. “We welcomed 5.3 million foreign nationals and the same number left Belarus,” he said. The official added, the number of Belarusians, who travelled outside the country, shrank by 1.4%.
January 09, 2009 Website "BELTA" Belovezhskaya Pushcha among nominees of 7 Wonders of Nature Campaign

The New 7 Wonders of Nature Internet Campaign has been launched in January 2009. The shortlist includes the world’s known lakes, mountains, waterfalls, caves, for instance, the Grand Canyon, Everest, the Niagara Falls. The Belovezhskaya Pushcha is among the nominees as well, the news agencies inform.

The Swiss not-for-profit organization New 7 Wonders Foundation has selected 261 natural sights from 222 countries.

All natural sights have been divided into seven categories: a landscape, islands, mountains, volcanoes, national parks, forests, seas.

The shortlist embraces: Belovezhskaya Pushcha (Belarus, Poland), Dnieper River (Russia, Belarus, Ukraine), Naroch Lake (Belarus), Curonian Spit (Lithuania and Russia), Baikal Lake (Russia), the national park Altyn-Emel (Kazakhstan), Azerbaijani volcanoes, Lake Issyk Kul (Kyrgyzstan), desert Atakama (Chile), Mont Blanc (France), volcano Vesuvius (Italy) and others.

Around 1 billion people are expected to take part in the poll. The voting on the website www.new7wonders.com will stay open by July 7.

In July a group of experts will pick up 21 finalists. The winners will be named in 2011.

The new campaign is expected to help promote the development of cultural diversity by means of providing support, preserving and restoring the landmarks and nature monuments.

The winners of the previous Seven Wonders Campaign were Colosseum, Italy; Christ Redeemer, Brazil; Chichen Itza, Mexico; Great Wall of China; Machu Picchu, Peru; Petra, Jordan; Taj Mahal, India.
January 09, 2009 Website "NewsBY.org" Permit to produce moonshine in Belarus

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By the president's decree 709 "On rates of excise taxes on sub-excise goods" since January 1, 2009, in Belarus, the excise tax has been fixed for "original alcoholic drinks made by using off-centre technology of traditional popular recipes" with spirit of 28 % and more. Moonshine can be sold "with the purpose to reconstitute the completeness of Belarusian national traditions" in four places.

The decree states that one litre of total-lot absolute ethyl alcoholic which is in moonshine is taxed with the excise at the rate of 7,530 Roubles (~$ 3) in the first half year of 2009, and 7,850 Roubles in the second half year. This is almost two times less than the cost of the excise tax for vodka.

In the list of legal entities approved by the government, it means the places where is permitted to cook (and since now to sell moonshine too), there are the Museum Complex of Ancient National Crafts and Technologies "Dudutki", the National Park "Belovezhskaya Pushcha", the Cultural and Entertaining Complex "XIX Century Belarusian Village" and the Mountain-Skier Sport Complex "Logoisk".

Galina NESTERCHIK, “Zavtra Tvoyey Strany” (Your Country's Tommorow) newspaper
January 03, 2009 "Komsomolskaya Pravda" (The Komsomolskaya Truth) newspaper Trustful Belarusians to snow Grandfather Frost under letters


A Grandfather Frost Residence in Belovezhskaya Pushcha.
Photo from http://npbp.brest.by
The post office in Belovezhskaya Pushcha daily gets 500 to 700 letters from Belarus, Russia, Ukraine, Germany, Poland, Finland...

5,000 to 6,000 people daily visit the residence of Grandfather Frost, it is according to the Respublica newspaper.

The easier way to come there is through the village of Kamenyuki, the administrative center of the National Park "Belovezhskaya Pushcha", located 18 kilometers from the district center of Kamenetz of the Brest region. One can come there by personal carrier or by fixed-route taxi departing from the Brest city bus station. For those who arrive in Kamenyuki by individual transport, there is near the Museum of Nature a secure parking open twenty-four hours a day.