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Call to monetize Belarus' popularity before it is gone


Belarus might lose the limelight one day, so it is necessary to make the most of it while the country is still on the radar, Director of the Belarusian Institute of Strategic Research (BISR) Oleg Makarov said at a regular session of the Expert Community project in BelTA's press center.

Oleg Makarov noted that Belarus needs all the attention it can get from the international community. “This attention can be monetized as it can help draw more tourists, investment and generate political dividends,” the expert said. Belarus has already taken advantage of this spotlight to promote a series of peace initiatives as part of the Helsinki-2 process and to establish a digital neighborliness belt. These initiatives were heard by the international community.

At the same time, the attention given to one country or another is cyclical. “Other themes and other countries might catch the public eye in the future,” Oleg Makarov said. He mentioned Georgia as a case in point. This country made headlines some time ago. “Georgia managed to take advantage of the media exposure in order to promote its tourism,” he believes.

Belarus needs to maintain a balance, because Belarus is mostly known for its involvement in a major political process, rather than tourism. “It is important to avoid turning from a subject into an object, an instrument,” Oleg Makarov said.

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