The objective of the conference was to initiate the process of creating the tourism promotion strategy for the town. The developed strategy would help to increase tourist interest in Brest, which was included into the visa-free movement areas at the beginning of 2018.
Among the speakers were the Kirkland Scholarships program alumni invited to the study tour as part of the Kirklanders at the Kirklanders’ initiative, as well as experts from Poland, Belarus and Ukraine. The participants of the meeting were representatives of local government, tourism sector, local media, and NGOs. Among other things, discussed were issues such as regional product creation, tourism promotion and development on the example of Ternopil, Lvov, and Minsk. The participants debated also on cooperation opportunities, new proposals, and initiatives that have already been implemented, such as on-line guide on former Jewish quarter in Brest created in form of an audio-show recorded in the city by a Kirkland program alumnus, Switlana Haidalonok and her theater group.
The participants discussed also such subjects as tourist attractions, infrastructure and catering facilities availability for persons not speaking Belarussian, strategy of informing about visa-free access to selected Belarussian cities, or necessity to create a complex tourism information system that would facilitate independent planning and organizing visits to Brest.
The conference was held as part of the pilot Kirklanders at the Kirklanders’ initiative launched in 2017. It allows Krikland program alumni to organize study visits and share their experiences. Such visits are attended by the Kirklanders active in a country covered by the program. The Brest conference was another event held as part of that program; similar study tours were held in Moldova and Denmark.