President Volodymyr Zelenskyy will instruct the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to consider the possibility of visa liberalization for foreigners visiting Ukraine for tourism purposes. The Head of State announced this at a meeting with representatives of the tourism industry on the territory of the Kam'yanets'-Podil's'kyi Fortress during a working trip to the Khmelnytskyi region.
According to the President, visas can be abolished for citizens of China, Australia, New Zealand or Arab countries who come to Ukraine as tourists.
"We need to liberalize visa policy: if countries cancel visas for Ukrainians who come to them, we cancel visas for them as well. We need to compete for tourists," Volodymyr Zelenskyy said.
According to tour operators, a foreigner spends 120-150 dollars a day and stays in Ukraine for an average of three or four days.
The President called on industry representatives to work together to attract foreign tourists to visit unique places in our country.
"There are things in Ukraine that are not available in other countries, that you want to look at and show to Western tourists. What can we do this summer to attract foreign, Western tourists who bring in money?” he said.
The Head of State also stressed that now, due to the coronavirus pandemic and the closure of borders, there are opportunities for the development of domestic tourism, and the Ukrainian authorities intend to work to increase the tourist attractiveness of Ukraine.
"Due to coronavirus, we see that domestic tourism in Ukraine can be very popular. The question is what the government can do for domestic tourism," Volodymyr Zelenskyy said.
The President proposed to identify a "tourist magnet" in each region of Ukraine - an object that could be developed by the government and business to attract tourists.
"My logic is very simple: to make a story of "magnets" in each region. Somewhere the construction of something is unfinished, somewhere it needs to be rebuilt. This is your business. We are interested in its development and filling the budget," the Head of State explained.
Representatives of the tourism industry noted that today an unprecedented window of opportunity for the development of domestic tourism opened. But there is not enough time for this.
The President proposed to identify specific steps that can be taken quickly to rapidly increase the tourist attractiveness of Ukraine.
The participants of the meeting noted that Ukraine is a very beautiful country and is attractive for travel, but it is necessary to break the stereotype that traveling around Ukraine is unfashionable. Therefore, one of the main tasks is to launch a media campaign to promote tourism in Ukraine.
In addition, industry representatives noted that there are not enough good hotels in our country, and it would be appropriate to introduce targeted soft loans for the construction of hotels and resorts. The issue of introducing a preferential VAT rate for the tourism industry was also raised.
The President called for drafting a concept for the development of Ukraine's tourism industry.