According to BelTA a website for booking travel services in Belarus was presented in Minsk.
According to Oleg Mikhailov, Director of the Belarusian state-run travel agency Tsentrkurort, the idea to develop the web portal VETLIVA was born during the ice hockey world championship in 2014. The website was developed within the framework of the government program 2016-2020 Hospitable Belarus. On the one hand, the website offers an abundance of information about tourism opportunities in Belarus: information about the country's history, unique nature and culture, multiple places of interests, an interactive map, and information about forthcoming tourism events. On the other hand, the website allows visitors to book any services and visit the places they get interested in from any part of the globe at any time of the day or night. The project is supposed to help foreigners rediscover Belarus as a hospitable and friendly country. It will tell visitors about the country's tourism opportunities and will help develop the Belarusian hospitality industry using modern information technologies. The website is available in Belarusian, Russian, and English. It offers a broad range of Belarusian tourism services in a convenient way for any kind of consumers. Olga Demeshkevich, head of the automated tourism technologies department at Tsentrkurort and supervisor of the VETLIVA project, remarked that the name of the website reflects a positive stereotype about the hospitality of Belarusian residents. For the sake of bolstering Belarus' appeal as a tourist destination inside and outside the country, for expanding the geography of sales the VETLIVA project relies on using various promotion methods: search engine optimization, participation in expos and presentations, manufacturing and distribution of printed products and souvenirs in addition to creating a promo video, which plot will highlight the country's tourism opportunities. The website will benefit every person, who takes pleasure in travels and is interested in tourism events in Belarus, stressed the specialist. According to Olga Demeshkevich, over 40 sightseeing tours in Belarus are already available on the website, including one-day tours and tours that last longer. The website also offers accommodation in 35 facilities ranging from hostels to sanatoriums. Transfer services can be booked as well. Apart from that, the VETLIVA website offers information about over 1,100 various places of interests and interesting facts about Belarus. The website has been developed by the company OOO Travelsoft Consulting. Yevgeny Skibunov, the company's director, said that more localizations can be added to the VETLIVA website. Every localization is implemented as a separate autonomous website. There are plans to add Chinese and German localizations in the future. “The service is already operational. We are getting natural traffic from Google and Yandex. The first booking was made using a mobile device in Russia. The customer booked a sightseeing tour,” noted the executive. The website has been operating in test mode since January. There are plans to develop a mobile application VETLIVA later on.
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