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N Caucasus’ tourism product is by 30 pct cheaper than Europe’s

May 23, 2012, 16:48 UTC+3

The Caucasus Mineral Waters is a resort of the federal level, which serves abut 30-35 thousand guests a day

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YESSENTUKI, May 23 (Itar-Tass) —— Tourism product offered at resorts of Russia’s Mineral Waters, which includes accommodation, food and treatment, is cheaper that that offered in Europe or Thailand practically by 20-30 percent, Stavropol region’s Ministry of resorts and tourism told Itar-Tass on Wednesday.

“If you take tour prices to Baden-Baden or Karlovy Vary and add a similar amount of tests and treatment as in Mineral Waters, the price difference will make at least 20 percent /or one-fifth of the total price/. And besides, the level and class of medical services at our resorts has always been considered very high,” Deputy Minister Tatyana Tkachenko said.

The ministry’s specialists compared the Plaza resort in Kislovodsk and a well-known four-star resort in Karlovy Vary. A regular voucher for a fortnight at Plaza costs 63,000 roubles, while the foreign resort charges 58,800 roubles. At the same time, the Russian resort offers for this money additional services, while the resort in the Czech Republic charges extra 19,600 roubles. “Thus, a holiday there is by 24.4 percent more expensive,” the ministry said.

The additional services mentioned include diagnostic tests like electrocardiogram, blood tests, ultra-sound research, etc, and a sports block /swimming pool, thermo therapy, aero solarium, rehabilitation exercises/. Other popular services also include daily leisure programmes, children’s club, animation programmes, WI-FI, business centre services, and an own pump room with mineral water – services of the kind are not on the list of the foreign resort. Qualified doctors are available for visitors to Kislovodsk on a daily basis, while those travelling to other countries may hope to see a doctor only two times during the 14-day stay. Russian resorts offer seven treatments a day, while foreign resorts – only three.

Speaking about accommodation, the ministry confirmed that several years earlier, there had been problems there, but now they all are far behind.

“We renew rooms, and even economy-class resorts offer rooms of Europe-class level.”

Though the cost of treatment at resorts at the Caucasus Mineral Waters resorts is attractive, airfares remain high. “The transport expenses take between 33 and 57 percent of the tourism product,” analysts say.

The Caucasus Mineral Waters is a resort of the federal level, which serves abut 30-35 thousand guests a day, both from Russia and abroad. Over a year, about 900,000 people get tourism and treatment services there. The number of visitors is growing by ten percent every year. Over first four months of the current year the number of visitors made over 218,300, which is by 7,500 /or by four percent/ more against a similar period of the past year.

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