Thursday, 4 August 2011

Ukrainian border services are ready to handle large numbers of tourists

The Ukrainian State Border Guard Service says it is ready for a big increase in the number of people crossing the state border, and that it can now handle over 400,000 people per day.

"Today we're ready for an increase in flows [of travelers]," Pavlo Shysholin, the first deputy head of the Ukrainian State Border Guard Service, said in an interview with the Prykordonnyk Ukrainy [Border Guard of Ukraine] newspaper.

"We've registered only a few cases this year of the number of people crossing the Ukrainian border per day exceeding 300,000. We're ready to handle over 400,000 or even more every day."

He outlined the trends seen this year: The number of people registered at checkpoints grew by 9%, while the number of vehicles increased by 8% in the first half of 2011 compared to the same period last year. Moreover, the number of Russian and Moldovan citizens entering Ukraine has increased this year.

He also said the Belarusian State Border Guard Committee has forecast that the number of Belarusian tourists vacationing in Crimea this holiday season will grow by 30%, with the peak numbers expected in August and September.

"We're prepared for this today. We've met with our Belarusian colleges and developed a standard procedure for handling organized groups, mainly at the Novi Yarylovychi checkpoint, which is located on the main route of travel. We've increased the number of officers there, set up Potik-A mobile border control complexes, and proposed to our Belarusian colleges that the entire checkpoint network be used to handle tourists," Shysholin said.

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