Belarus member of European Alliance for Coach Tourism

During a meeting in Moscow of the EACT, European Alliance for Coach Tourism, Belarus is welcomed as a new member of the organization. With Belarus EACT consists of fifteen members.

For the first time the meeting was held in Moscow and hosted by the Russian trade organization in tourist industry, Rossijskij Sojus Turindustrii RST, under the presidency of Sergej Shpilko, and vice-president Olga Sanaeva. The RST became a full member of the EACT last July during the meeting in Cologne. RDA President Benedikt Esser said: “That Russia has entered the EACT in last July was a big moment being one of the biggest European countries in the EACT, but now also the membership of Belarus is of great importance for the organization.” Dieter Gauf, Secretary-General of EACT and Chief Executive of the RDA added: "It is a progress for bus and group tourism in Europe that with the accession of the Belarussian Tourist Board a geographical gap between Central and Eastern Europe is closed. Belarus is an important transit state. In general, EACT represents not only EU members, as Switzerland's membership shows, but the entire European political environment."

Topics the EACT discussed during the meeting in Moscow were cross-border travel event, visa procurement on trips through several countries requiring visas, questions and problems of Russian tour operators travelling to Germany and the European Union, combined bus-flight travel and other special issues, such as the multiple transit from Belarus to Russia. The very far-reaching consumer rights in the EU were discussed as an important criteria in the travel event to Eastern Europe.

Following the meeting, the delegation visited Busworld Russia, powered by Autotrans. Busworld Russia is a partnership between Busworld and the ITEMF Expo. In talks with Mieke Glorieux, Managing Director of Busworld, and Luc Glorieux, founder of Busworld, the Eastern European and Central Asian markets were discussed. The Busworld trade fair is entering these markets outside the European Union. A highlight of the EACT meeting in Moscow was the meeting with Olga Yarilova, Minister of State for Tourism at the Ministry of Culture of the Russian Federation. She is also Deputy Minister of Culture. Tourism in the Russian Federation is located at the Ministry of Culture. In Eastern Europe and other countries, the cultural, sociopolitical role and importance of tourism as a whole is more heavily weighted.

The European Alliance for Coach Tourism was founded in in Juli 2012 by eight tourist organizations in Europe. Now it consists of fourteen organizations with Busworld/BAAV (Belgium), Car Tourisme Suisse (Switzerland), Confartighianato Trasporti (Italy), Confebus, Confederación Española de Transporte en Autobús (Spain),

CPT Confederation of Passenger Transport (UK), CTA Coach Tourism Association (UK), CTTC – Coach Tourism and Transport Council (Ireland), ETOA – European Tourism Association (UK), FNTV ALSACE Fédération Nationale des Transports de Voyageurs d’Alsace, Muisz – Association of Hungarian Travel Agencies (Hungary), RDA International Coach Tourism Federation (Germany), RST/Rossijskij Sojus Turindustrii (Russia), Swedish National Coach Organisation (Sweden) and Belarussian Tourist Board (Belarus). http://www.eact.travel/ www.rda.de

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