Belarus will join the World Tourist Organization. Cheslav Shulga, director of the Tourism Administration of the Belarus Ministry of Sport and Tourism, made the announcement at a press conference marking the International Day of Tourism on September 27.
Shulga said the decision to join on the eve of the Day of Tourism was approved by Acting Prime Minister Sergei Sidorsky. Shulga said Belarus participation in the world organization would 'increase the country's prestige, ensure access to modern technology in the field and bring financial and organizational help' from the world organization. Belarus President Aleksandr Lukashenko has called on the nation's tourism officials to step up their work. Shulga said a presidential decree, 'On State Aid for Belarus Tourism,' has been prepared.
According to the Belarus Ministry of Sport and Tourism, Belarus and Tajikistan are the only nations of the former USSR not yet members of the World Tourism Organization.
Russian President Vladimir Putin has refused to go to the 77th UN General Assembly in September