Attraction of investments for the creation of all-season recreational centers, state support for the organization of sanatorium-resort treatment and recreation of people, the construction of tourist and communal infrastructure were discussed in the Government at a meeting on the development of tourism in the North Caucasus Federal District. The meeting was chaired by the Deputy Prime Minister – Plenipotentiary of the President in the Far Eastern Federal District Yuri Trutnev.
“Chairman of the Government of the Russian Federation Mikhail Vladimirovich Mishustin plans to hold a meeting on the socio-economic development of the North Caucasus Federal District. Tourism has every opportunity to become one of the pillars of economic development in the North Caucasus. Elbrus, Cheget, Kazbek and other peaks of the Caucasian ridge not only create a unique appearance, but also form the conditions for the development of world-class recreational centers. The Government has begun work on the creation of such centers. More than 36 billion rubles of budgetary investments have been invested in the all-season tourist recreation complexes Arkhyz, Veduchi, Elbrus. At the same time, only Arkhyz is in a fairly high degree of readiness. In the remaining areas listed above, work must be continued. In addition, create new resorts such as Mamison. I am sure that tourist complexes should be created and operate primarily at the expense of private investments, ”said Yuri Trutnev, opening the meeting.
According to Rosstat, since 2015, the tourist flow has been steadily growing (more than 5% per year) and at the end of 2019 amounted to 1.75 million tourists. One of the limiting factors is the small number of accommodation facilities (950 objects, with more than 60% of the room stock concentrated in the Stavropol Territory).
“Our task is to find mechanisms for attracting investments that are profitable for the state and acceptable for private companies. The Government of the Russian Federation is ready to take part in the construction of the necessary infrastructure: roads, power lines, water supply systems. At the same time, I would like to warn you right away that those companies that are ready to carry out most of the work using their own resources should receive the rights to use the land plots necessary for the construction of hotels, restaurants, and to use the infrastructure already created at the expense of the state, ”said Yuri Trutnev …
One of the drivers of the growth of the tourist flow in the North Caucasus is the ski cluster. These are three operating ski resorts – Arkhyz, Elbrus, Veduchi. Currently, the tourist flow to ski resorts is steadily increasing by more than 20% per year, and the proceeds from the sale of ski passes are increasing. The construction of infrastructure in the resorts of the North Caucasus will increase the tourist flow by 2025 to more than 2.3 million people a year.
ATRC “Arkhyz” was brought to self-sufficiency. These indicators were achieved when financing the costs of creating a ski infrastructure from the federal budget, the volume of which since 2014 has been about 28 billion rubles. “New investors are ready to come to Arkhyz today. This is important because federal budget funds must be invested in the construction of infrastructure – roads or energy. But private investors should invest in the construction of hotels, ski lifts, restaurants. But they need to do this within the framework of unified planning solutions so that modern, comfortable and convenient recreation centers are created, ”Yuri Trutnev believes.
Investors’ interest in the development of the Elbrus ski resort was noted. “Investors are ready to build a hotel at the foot of the mountain, to participate in the construction of a ski lift. We will continue to invest money from the federal budget there, but we will try to attract private investors. The most important thing is to create comfortable conditions downstairs. Today, there are a lot of illegal buildings at the foot of Elbrus. We have no intention of bulldozing all this, we will offer people other land plots and soft loans to create trading places. This is necessary in order to clean the lower glade, to create conditions for the development of the resort, ”said the Deputy Prime Minister.
In 2020, the creation of facilities for the Mamison resort in North Ossetia began. The uniqueness of the resort is associated with the possibility of forming an extensive ski area, the presence of the Zaramag glacier. And the mineral water springs make it possible to consider the resort as not only a ski resort, but also a balneological one.
According to Deputy Minister of Economic Development Sergei Nazarov, it is planned to increase the tourist flow six times in the ski resorts of the North Caucasus Federal District by 2030 (at least 4.6 million people a year). It is planned to create over 28 thousand places for tourist accommodation. This can be done by building up a modern and comfortable infrastructure with the participation of private capital. “By 2025, within the framework of budget financing, we plan to bring the ski resorts of the North Caucasus to the level of reference, and then transfer them to a strategic investor who will continue to work on its development at the expense of private funds. The transfer of one of the resorts to a strategic partner is planned this year, ”he explained.
The support of health-improving tourism was discussed. “The sources of mineral waters in the North Caucasus create unique conditions for organizing sanatorium-resort treatment and recreation for people. This area of work also needs government support and private investment. All this work should become part of the Tourism and Hospitality Industry national project, which is being created by the Government in accordance with the instructions of the President of the Russian Federation Vladimir Vladimirovich Putin, ”said Yuri Trutnev.
Health tourism in the North Caucasus Federal District is represented by the Caucasian Mineral Waters – the largest resort region of Russia, located on the territory of three constituent entities of the Russian Federation (Stavropol Territory, the Kabardino-Balkarian Republic and the Karachay-Cherkess Republic) and which includes four federal resort cities (Zheleznovodsk , Pyatigorsk, Essentuki and Kislovodsk). More than 1 million tourists visit the resort cities of the Caucasian Mineral Waters annually. 119 health resort organizations provide their services with a total bed capacity of over 31.8 thousand beds.
The Ministry of Economic Development plans to increase the tourist flow to the Caucasian Mineral Waters up to 5 million people annually by 2030. At the same time, the development of Kavkazskie Mineralnye Vody is restrained by the outdated base of the sanatorium-resort complex, high wear and tear of communal and transport infrastructure and other factors. It is planned to solve these problems through the implementation of comprehensive plans for the development of territories, the modernization and reconstruction of sanatorium-resort facilities, the attraction of private investment and state support for the modernization and creation of a new tourist infrastructure.
The head of Rostourism Zarina Doguzova informed about the systemic measures to support tourism projects in the North Caucasus Federal District and the instruments of the national project “Tourism and Hospitality Industry”. “The National Tourism Project is a complex of interrelated budgetary instruments implemented on a competitive basis. Therefore, the national project allows the development of any type of tourism in any territory in all constituent entities of the country, ”she said.
The national project “Tourism and hospitality industry” consists of three federal projects. The first is aimed at the comprehensive development of tourism infrastructure, the second is aimed at working with demand, the third is designed to remove administrative barriers and continue to improve sectoral legislation. One of the key and most demanded instruments is soft loans at 3-5% per annum for a period of 15 years. This is relevant for existing resorts, where there is a shortage of new, modern hotels under international and federal brands, and the reconstruction of the old fund, including the renovation of the sanatorium complex.
At the same time, the tools of all federal projects of the Tourism and Hospitality Industry National Project will be in demand by the regions of the North Caucasus Federal District for the construction and reconstruction of new hotels and sanatoriums, the construction of non-capital modular hotels in natural areas outside specially protected natural areas, the arrangement of a comfortable tourist environment in resorts and in cities, beaches , tourist routes, increasing the recognition of the North Caucasus as a single tourist destination, etc.
As a result of the meeting, Yuri Trutnev instructed the Ministry of Economic Development and Trade to develop a transparent and effective mechanism for attracting investments, minimizing the costs of the federal budget and guaranteeing the construction of world-class all-season recreational centers. The Ministry of Economic Development and the Government of North Ossetia must submit to the Russian Government a general plan for the development of the Mamison resort within a month. The Ministry of Economic Development and the Federal Tourism Agency were instructed to submit proposals for informing entrepreneurs about investment opportunities in the resorts of the North Caucasus Federal District. The Deputy Prime Minister also instructed the Ministry of Economic Development and Trade, together with the governments of the Stavropol Territory, the Kabardino-Balkarian Republic, the Karachay-Cherkess Republic, to analyze the state of room stocks and medical institutions in the Caucasian Mineral Waters.
“We must create comfortable conditions for recreation here, in Russia, so that our citizens can enjoy their holidays at our resorts, and citizens of other countries are eager to visit the Russian Federation,” Yuri Trutnev summed up the meeting.
EDITOR’S NOTE: This article is a translation. Apologies should the grammar and or sentence structure not be perfect.