CHERKESSK, November 11. /TASS/. Over 500,000 tourists are expected to visit the Teberdinsky Nature Biosphere Reserve in the Karachay-Cherkess Republic this year, which will make a 25-year record, the Reserve’s Deputy Director Jamal Tekeyev told TASS on Friday.
“We expected 350,000 tourists to visit the reserve this year but the actual number has already exceeded our expectations. A total of 494,000 tourists have visited our reserve in the first nine months of 2016, which is 214,000 more than during the same period last year, another 50,000 are expected to visit the reserve until the year ends. So, by the end of the year around 500,000 tourists will have visited the reserve for the first time in the past 25 years,” he said.
According to Tekeyev, the tourist inflow has been increasing due to the domestic tourism growth and improving infrastructure in the reserve.
“This year we have launched a visitor center where virtual tours of the most interesting parts of the reserve are available which is convenient, first and foremost, for people with disabilities and elderly people who are unable to take walks along our tourist routes. But now they can take virtual tours of the reserve. Our tourist routs are revamped annually,” he added.
There are 17 ecological routes in the reserve. The Jamagatskiye mineral springs, the Turye lake and the Badukskiye lakes constitute the three most popular routes.
The Teberdinsky State Nature Biosphere Reserve, located along the northern slopes of the Main Caucasian Ridge, marked its 80th anniversary this year. In 1997, the reserve was included into an international network of biosphere reserves under the UNESCO’s Man and the Biosphere Program. According to the latest assessments of the Russian ecology tourism market, the Teberdinsky Biosphere Reserve is one of the three most popular nature reserves.