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MOSCOW, April 6 (Itar-Tass) —— Russia’s Senator Svetlana Zhurova suggests for more effective development of tourism in the country organising a state-run corporation Resorts of Russia by granting a national status to the Resorts of the North Caucasus Corporation.
Besides, she told reporters on Friday, she planned to suggest the government to grant the future federal authority involved in development of tourism in Russia the authorities to organise tourism-recreation special economic zones, to manage their land fund, to follow universe marketing and information policy of tourism clusters.
Now a working group headed by Senator Svetlana Zhurova prepares on several changes of the legislation and regulation acts in order to follow instructions from Russia’s president to develop tourism in the country.
“We receive many requests from the regions regarding the president’s order to develop tourism. Many regions have high tourism potential, like the Caucasus, and should there be the mechanisms used in the North Caucasus tourism cluster, tourism in Russian regions may become a true locomotive of economic growth,” she said. The regions stress that “major investors need unified rules for working in the Russian tourism market, which would contain equal guarantees and conditions, no matter where they are working.”
During a meeting in Krasnodar on March 11, Russia’s President Dmitry Medvedev said it necessary to use in the country’s other regions the mechanisms of state guarantees for investors, which are used for the North Caucasus tourism cluster. “It is clear that the so-called cluster approaches to development of tourism should not be limited by the North Caucasus. Such decisions may be used in any place of this country, the only condition being they should be attractive for tourists. Thus it is necessary to suggest common criterion of structuring the work,” Medvedev said. “Of course, it is necessary to realise what is applicable for conditions of this or that region – what entrepreneurs and investors require for applying their money and effort.”
Following the meeting, the president ordered all regions to offer concepts of developing tourism potential of their territories, and the government to set mechanisms to support the tourism sector and to offer a federal structure to be responsible for those issues. “Soon after formation of the new government, we shall specify what the movement forward should be like, how to organise settlement of the tasks, who will be responsible for results, and what structures are to be involved,” the president said.
Thus, Svetlana Zhurova is sure the authority involved in development of the country’s tourism potential, should have authorities to organise tourism-recreational special economic zones, managing the special economic zones’ land fund, to manage their land fund, to follow universe marketing and information policy of Russia’s tourism clusters. “As the regions follow the order of the president and present their tourism concepts, we shall form a large0scale bank of projects, where we shall choose those most economically effective for formation of tourism-recreational zones,” she said. “As the president stressed, a special authority should be doing the work.” For implementation of this task, it would be necessary to amend the law on special economic zones in the Russian Federation, so that the tourism structure received necessary authorities.
The next emerging issue is about management of the special economic zones, the senator said. “I think we should not be inventing the wheel here, as the 116th federal law and the government’s order stipulate a management company for the only as yet tourism cluster in the country – the Resorts of the North Caucasus Company, and it has confirmed its effectiveness by having signed agreements with investors, which are worth six billion dollars, and by the constructions, which have been started already.” “This state corporation should have functions of a unified managing company of the tourism-recreational special economic zones of the country, by having changed its title for example, for Resorts of Russia.” “A decision of the kind will enable the government to concentrate both authorities and responsibilities for use of mechanisms of a special economic zone, without minimising those functions among many authorities, and to guarantee control over benefits and economic effectiveness. A model exists, and it is effective, and nothing prevents us from using it outside the North Caucasus,” she said.
The amendments would not require additional expenses of the federal budget, as experts say the existing funds for development of tourism would be sufficient if used effectively. The Federation Council believes the mechanism of attracting investors, used by the Resorts of the North Caucasus, are effective even without additional financing from the state. Investors care about state guarantees, less bureaucracy, tax benefits, which are already part of the law on the tourism cluster in the North Caucasus.
Earlier, Svetlana Zhurova initiated amendments to the federal law on special economic zones in the Russian Federation and to several legislative norms /regarding development of tourism clusters/, which Russia’s president signed on November 30, 2011.