12 January 2017
Vladimir Putin was reported on progress of the tourism cluster project

The Russian President Vladimir Putin was told about the current status of development of all-season resorts Arkhyz and Elbrus created under control of Joint-Stock Company Northern Caucasus Resorts. During the meeting with the members of the Russian Government on which the priority tasks of social and economic development of the country for 2017 were discussed, Lev Kuznetsov, the Minister of the Russian Federation for North Caucasus Affairs, gave a report.

The Head of the State noted that the main task of development of the North Caucasus as one of the sites for winter holidays is the need for infrastructure development. ‘I hope that by 2021 - as we have scheduled the main projects there to be finished and they shall be well finished by 2021 - they will be implemented and our citizens will receive additional opportunities of recreation in Russia, in the North Caucasus,’ emphasized Putin in the course of the meeting.

The Minister of the Russian Federation for North Caucasus Affairs Lev Kuznetsov called the development of tourism industry among one of the priorities of social and economic policy in the North Caucasus. ‘Within this framework the development of tourism cluster is one of the key projects. And of course, the statistics on tourists is likely to be the most important indicator of correctness and effectiveness of investing the public funds and chosen priorities,’ he said.

‘It is very gratifying that for several years our resorts (now we have two operating resorts: Elbrus which functioned as far back as in the Soviet times and Arkhyz, a newly developing resort, and this year we also plan to launch the third resort Veduchi in the Chechen Republic) have demonstrated the upward trend,’noted Lev Kuznetsov. At that, according to him, such trend is measured not in per cent but in tens of per cent. ‘This year, as compared to the previous one, the increase over eight months for Arkhyz amounted to 46 per cent and for Elbrus to about 40 per cent,’ he added, having noted that the resorts in the North Caucasus are becoming competitive today and have their own unique niches.

‘For example, last year in Elbrus we launched the highest mountain rope hoist in Europe of 3,847 meters which has no analogues; the emerging resort Arkhyz is already forming its own tourist segment. At that it is very important that the amount of people involved in ski mountaineering is increasing. We do not draw tourists from other resorts, we just form and strengthen the ski culture. This year, according to the statistics, we have more than 50 percent of those who got on ski for the first time, and this is great,’ the Minister reported.

He also told about social projects of JSC NCR. Among them there are free lessons based on ski mountaineering for schoolchildren and free ski passes for all ten-year-old kids. ‘Every year we choose age categories, this year our age category are those who were born in 2006, and it means that we give them free ski passes, thus forming new skills, culture and traditions,’ said the Head of the Ministry of the Russian Federation for North Caucasus Affairs.

Lev Kuznetsov also noted price affordability of the resorts in the North Caucasus. ‘We have not increased the price of ski passes as compared to the previous year and even improved the program. We have a unique product, that is a ski pass for the whole season with a total value of 15 thousand rubles. For the moment there are more one-day tourists, as we don’t have so much accommodation facilities yet, although there are a lot of residents’ applications in the projects, but exactly this allows to provide tourists with ski passes for 500 rubles a day... There are no such precedents abroad or in Russia, but it doesn’t affect the economy of the resort itself and due to the increased tourist flow the turnover is being improved. Therefore this figure shows the project’s effectiveness. Within our State Program for this year we plan further investments for expansion both in the number of resorts and in creating opportunities for the Russian tourists,’ concluded the Minister of the Russian Federation for North Caucasus Affairs Lev Kuznetsov.