Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev visited All-Season Tourist and Recreational Resort Arkhyz, being created under the control of Joint-Stock Company Northern Caucasus Resorts in the Karachay-Cherkess Republic. He highly appreciated the quality of the infrastructure created on the site and vibrant work results of the resort, with a tourist flow growing rapidly. In particular, he drew attention to the high quality of the ski slopes that he personally tested when skiing. During the working visit, the Prime Minister was accompanied by Alexander Khloponin, Deputy Prime Minister; Lev Kuznetsov, Minister of the North Caucasus Affairs of the Russian Federation; Oleg Gorchev, Director General of Joint-Stock Company Northern Caucasus Resorts; and Rashid Temrezov, the Head of the Karachay-Cherkess Republic.
‘In a number of settlements, fairly modern and comfortable conditions were created for tourists. And today morning we saw how Arkhyz looks. This, I admit, was impressive, this is a modern resort - one can both ski there and just relax,’ Dmitry Medvedev said, when opening the meeting of the Governmental Commission for the Development of the NCFD, held after the visit to Arkhyz ATRC. ‘To meet this challenge, we must apply the project approach more extensively, with clear deadlines, targets, so that, both at the federal and regional levels, everyone understood the measure of his responsibility, so that horizons of business planning are clear to private investors. Moreover, the efforts should be concentrated on projects that can pull up the neighboring territories as well. As for the ski tourism, we now have three such projects: Arkhyz and Elbrus in Kabardino-Balkaria and Veduchi in Chechnya. Arkhyz is already approaching the indicators of a good model resort,’ the Prime Minister said at the meeting.
According to Oleg Gorchev, who told the Prime Minister about the results of project implementation and further development plans, JSC NCR has invested 8.2 billion rubles in Arkhyz ATRC project so far. Moreover, the volume of private investment attracted through the efforts of JSC NCR, to be invested by the SEZ residents in the construction of accommodation places and entertainment resort facilities over the next years, exceeds 9 billion rubles and there is more to come, as JSC NCR is actively working to attract residents regularly. He also said that Arkhyz resort has an enormous multiplier effect on social and economic growth in Arkhyz village, the nearest settlement. ‘Since the start of the resort operation, the tourist flow there has grown from 25 to 70 thousand tourists. 10 new hotels, nearly 1 thousand of accommodation places, 20 new rentals, 10 restaurants and cafes have been built; the range of tourist services has expanded, attendance at cultural and historical sites in the vicinity of Arkhyz has increased. About 500 new jobs appeared for residents of the village of Arkhyz, the Tourist Entrepreneurs Association, established on the initiative of the local population, began to work,’ Oleg Gorchev added.
Speaking on the growing tourist flow, Oleg Gorchev said that the annual number of visitors to Arkhyz resort, increases by 30-40%. In the first winter season, about 30 thousand guests visited the resort. In the current season, the figure approaches 150 thousand people. And the season is still going on,’ the head of the company stressed. He said that Arkhyz will actively increase the volumes of ski infrastructure within the development of the north oriented slope, which also will significantly extend the ski season.
‘The acting resort Elbrus has also impressive attendance figures. In 2016, about 319 thousands of tourists visited the Elbrus resort that is by 33.5% more than in 2015,’ Oleg Gorchev said. Predicting the tourist flow to the Veduchi resort, where the first ski season opens in 2017/2018, he said that the tourist flow is expected to reach 17.5 thousand visitors.
‘Such a high evaluation is for us an additional incentive to further work on the development of the resort, which people, our numerous visitors, for whom Arkhyz is already a favorite holiday destination, like,’ Rashid Temrezov, Head of the Karachay-Cherkess Republic, said.
JSC NCR as a company, developing tourism in the region, presented to the Prime Minister the environmental projects to be implemented within the Year of Ecology in Russia through the Autonomous Non-Profit Organization Caucasus Nature Center, established with the support of Alexander Khloponin, which is engaged in reproduction and preservation of endangered and rare species of flora and fauna in the Caucasus, that also received support from Dmitry Medvedev.
Following the results of his visit to Arkhyz ATRC, the Prime Minister convened a meeting of the Governmental Commission for Social and Economic Development of the NCFD, where the measures for the development of domestic and inbound tourism in the NCFD were discussed, including the development of resorts in the North Caucasus.
During the event, the Prime Minister called tourism one of the most important topics for North Caucasus. ‘A modern man generally pays special attention to the organization of his holiday and is ready to invest serious money in it. Suffice it to say that the tourist industry share in the world gross domestic product makes up almost 10%. 10% of the world GDP is tourism. Not oil and not gas, but tourism. This is one of the most profitable sectors of the economy, it accounts for nearly every 11th workplace,’ he said.