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GROZNY, January 13 /TASS/. More than 50,000 tourists visited Chechnya last year as the republic is facing a tourist boom comparable only to Soviet days alongside other republics in Russia’s North Caucasus region.
Chechnya, which survived a series of large-scale armed conflicts, devastation and the hard period of power consolidation, in its most recent history hit all records during the New Year holidays. More than 1,500 people, a third from the total number of tourists in 2014, visited the republic’s capital of Grozny from January 2 to 10, Elina Batayeva, the director of the Tur-Ex state-owned company that organizes tours in Chechnya, told TASS on Tuesday.
Grozny’s main tourist attractions include Europe’s biggest mosque “The Heart of Chechnya,” the Orthodox Church of Archangel Michael; a complex of high-rising 40-floor apartment buildings of Grozny City on the bank of the Sunzha River and Russia’s tallest fir-tree, which is 51 meters high and weighs 100 tons.
About 50,000 tourists, which is a 50% increase since 2013, visited Chechnya last year. The figure is expected to grow by more than 30% in 2015.
“We have studied our visitors quite well. About 80% of them have never been to the republic before. So, they do not know that apart from excursions in Grozny offered in the neighboring regions there are other tourist destinations in Chechnya such as the Argun Gorge and the Kezenoi-Am highland lake.
“More and more Russians prefer spending their vacations at home. Russia’s Caucasus has not seen such a tourist boom since Soviet days,” Batayeva said adding that this winter season chairlifts to Mount Elbrus which can raise 2,400 people an hour, are overloaded with long queues.
“There is a perspective for construction of new Alpine skiing resorts like Veduchi. I believe that the opening of a Trans-Caucasus tourist route, of which representatives in various spheres of tourism have talked so much, will be the next step in developing tourism in the North Caucasus Federal District,” Batayeva stressed.
A group of tourists from Hong Kong were the first to choose the Trans-Caucasus tourist itinerary in 2013. Instead of visiting just one separate republic, they visited all the republics of the North Caucasus in turn one after another.
Tourists from China, Taiwan and other oriental countries are showing interest in Russia’s North Caucasus region.