MOSCOW, September 9 (Itar-Tass) —— The North Caucasian Resorts Corporation is drafting a tourist security concept, according to General Director of the North Caucasian Resorts Company Alexei Nevsky.
“Security in the North Caucasus is a key criteria of the success of this project. We will draft a comprehensive concept of tourist security this year and will take security measures in compliance with it,” he said.
Experienced companies will be involved in the drafting of this concept, while the government will give the concept a final approval, he said.
“Tourists must be sure that they will be protected from terror acts and other crimes all through the period of their stay in the North Caucasus. This is the condition of a large tourist flow to the region,” he said.
“The new resorts will primarily orient at residents of the North Caucasian Federal District. We expect that residents of the North Caucasian Federal District will make up 50% of the tourists, about 20% of tourists will come from Central Russia, Siberia and the Far East, about 20% from Ukraine, Belarus and Kazakhstan and 10% from abroad,” he said.
Security of tourists is a special issue, Corporation Deputy General Director Rostislav Murzagulov told Itar-Tass earlier. “Tourism in the Caucasus is closely linked to security, and every decision concerning the tourist cluster is considered in this light,” he said. “The president and the prime minister said that security must be comprehensive in the development of tourism in the North Caucasus.”
Israeli specialists are developing the security concept for the North Caucasian resorts.
Israel was successful in the provision of security, Corporation head Akhmed Bilalov said. “What they are doing for the state of Israel really works. There was only one terror act in Jerusalem over the past seven years, while 42 terror acts happened within one year there before,” he noted.
“There is a whole set of measures, including security agents and technical means, such as drones and video cameras. It works [in Israel], so why can’t it work here. We will bear some of the expenditures, the state will bear some and law enforcers will make their contribution,” he said.
“Obviously, no one will come here if there is no security although the opinion that the crime rate is high in the Caucasus is mostly a stereotype,” he said. “For instance, the number of grave crimes committed in Dagestan is smaller than in some other regions in Russia. The media takes any killing in the Caucasus as news while a killing in some other region is regarded as nothing special,” he said.
Israeli specialists are ready to take active part in the development and installation of a comprehensive security system for the North Caucasian tourist cluster, Israeli police gen., ElbitSecurity Systems consultant Miki Levi told reporters earlier.
“We can guarantee security of tourists in the Caucasus. It takes a year, maximum 1.5 years, to create a security system for every resort,” he said. “It is insufficient to buy our equipment and technologies. Professional experience is very important”.
ElbitSecurity is providing comprehensive security solutions for state and private sectors in Israel and clients in Europe, Southeast Asia, Africa and South America.
The Corporation will reconstruct the tourist and mountain climbing routes that existed in the former Soviet Union. “It could be either quiet walks or horse riding to admire the nature and to learn more about people, the history and traditions of the region,” he said. “We can offer rafting, climbing or cave tours, as well,” Murzagulov said.
The construction of five alpine skiing resorts in the North Caucasus – Matlas in Dagestan, Mamison in North Ossetia, Arkhyz in Karachayevo-Cherkessia, Lagonaki in the Krasnodar territory and Adygeya and Elbrus in Kabardino-Balkaria – is a priority project of the federal authorities. There will be also modern spa and beach clusters.
The alpine skiing tracks will be 898 kilometers long. There will be 179 ropeways and hotels for 89,000 people. The investments may reach one trillion rubles within ten years, and about 300,000 jobs will be created.
The development of modern, well planned and environmentally friendly resorts will help preserve unique nature of the Caucasus, in the opinion of authoritative Russian environmentalists.
“The level of environmental awareness of residents of the North Caucasus is an important guarantee of nature conservancy,” head of the North Ossetian environmental organization, Green Alania, Kazbek Dzliyev said. “Our republic alone has more than 20 environmental organizations. They are rather active and have an influence on state bodies providing environmental monitoring and control,” he said.
In addition, the corporation is establishing a joint venture with the French state holding Caisse des Depots et Consignations. The joint venture’s authorized capital may near $2 billion. It will acquire and assemble ropeways throughout the North Caucasian resorts.
There will be eco-tourism together with alpine skiing, beaches and spas to people visiting the North Caucasus. The North Caucasus has unique nature. It is the tallest mountain ridge in Russia with five peaks exceeding 5,000 meters above the sea level. The most famous of them is the Elbrus. There are plenty of unique plants, animals and birds in Caucasian highlands and valleys.
Another important focus of the tourism cluster is infrastructure. France will contribute one billion euros to the joint venture developing North Caucasian resorts of Russia, according to Economic Development Minister Elvira Nabiullina.
“That is a very weighty contribution. Hopefully, the joint venture will be a locomotive of the project,” she said. Nabiullina expects the joint venture to be formed before the end of this year.
The cluster will spur on the development of airports and other means of transport in the area.
It is planned to use existent railroad lines for transporting up to 60% of all tourists visiting the North Caucasus. It is also planned to build new railroad lines in the development of the regional tourism cluster. There are railroad terminals in Beslan, Prokhladny, Ust-Jegutam, Cherkessk, Khadzhokh and Alagir. These terminals will have special zones for tourists, as well as integrated information systems and links to the airports.
The Mineralnye Vody International Airport will be the main air hub of the prospective North Caucasian tourist cluster.
The airport will meet modern demands and have two runways, which will operate under any weather conditions with high endurance. Any types of domestic and foreign aircraft will be able to use the airport, which will provide worthy aero-navigation and telecommunication services.