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MOSCOW, August 14 (Itar-Tass) —— The government of Stavropol territory and chiefs of the North Caucasus Resorts joint-stock company have arranged for including a special economic zone for tourism and recreation in the Stavropol territory into the tourism cluster in south Russia, a source in the press service of North Caucasus Resorts told ltar-Tass on Tuesday.
A working meeting in Yessentuki chaired by Yuri Tyrtyshov, the deputy governor and head of the government of the Stavropol territory, discussed the list of facilities of internal and external engineering, transport and social infrastructure required for the functioning of a special economic zone in the Stavropol territory, said the source.
“The project of the Grand Spa Yutsa special economic zone for tourism and recreation was discussed. The pilot project of the Stavropol territory envisages creating a contemporary balneological resort on an area of 843 hectares in the heart of Caucasian Mineral Waters which will be able to accommodate up to 160,000 tourists a year,” said the source.
The Stavropol territorial government decided to refer to the Ministry of Economic Development of the Russian Federation the proposal to include the special economic zone of the Stavropol territory into the North Caucasus tourism cluster. It was also decided that representatives of North Caucasus Resorts will join in the work to create the concept of the development of Caucasian Mineral Waters area.
According to chairman of the Board of Directors of North Caucasus Resorts Akhmed Bilalov, resorts in south Russia will become more attractive to tourists by recreational facilities when the special economic zone of the Stavropol territory with the cities of Yessentuki, Zheleznovodsk, Kislovodsk, Pyatigorsk and two municipal districts – Mineral Waters and Predgorny, are included in the tourism cluster.
“More than 130 springs of medicinal mineral water were discovered in the district’s territory. Famous Lake Tambukan with its unique curative mud is situated in the area. It has most favorable conditions for the development of balneological sector of tourism without precedent in Europe or the world for the area of resorts and medicinal properties of local resources,” Bilalov said
He recalled that Caucasian Mineral Waters was quite a well known brand on the territory of the former Soviet Union. “What is needed is to give the resort area a new lease on life, to modernize the recreational infrastructure, renew the system for service personnel training and advertize the region on the domestic and international markets,” Bilalov said.
According to the Stavropol territorial ministry of resorts and tourism, over 400,000 tourists visited the region in the first six month of 2012. To attract more tourists, the territorial ministry jointly with the North Caucasus Resorts and the Ministry of Economic Development of the Russian Federation worked out the strategy for the development of the preferentially protected natural environment for resorts in Russia - Caucasian Mineral Waters. The proposal to include the Stavropol territory into the tourism cluster in south Russia was made by territorial governor Valery Zerenkov at the Dagestan Economic Forum in June 2012.