BLAGOVESHCHENSK, November 17. /TASS/. When the Amur recreation cluster is set up in Blagoveshchensk, the Chinese tourist inflow to the Amur region may grow to 1,000,000, the regional government’s press service told TASS.
“After this project is implemented, the tourism industry will become one of the four main industries of the region together with mineral extraction, electricity sector and agriculture,” the press service said.
The main facilities of the Amur Cluster are planned to be put into operation before 2018, local tourist zones will be established by 2025. The tourism cluster is estimated to cost 20 billion rubles (roughly $309 mln), with ten billion planned to be spent on the Golden Mile raised territory in downtown Blagoveshchensk, with an area of 42 hectares. A large hotel able to host important congresses and forums, as well as shopping malls and culture facilities will be launched there.
After the Golden Mile project is implemented and a cross-border cable way over the Amur river between Blagoveshchensk and the Chinese city of Heihe is set up, the Chinese tourist inflow to the Amur region is expected to grow from 70,000 to 1,000,000. According to the regional government estimates, Chinese tourists are expected to spend a total of $1 billion.
“We believe the Amur Cluster project will help enhance the region’s attractiveness to visitors and reinforce our tourism potential, particularly as far as inbound tourism is concerned since Russia’s Far Eastern regions have good prospects of increasing tourist inflow, aiming at travelers from the South East Asia,” head of Russia’s Federal Agency for Tourism Oleg Safonov said.
In 2015, the Amur region ranked third in the terms of the Chinese tourist inflow, surpassed only by Moscow and the Primorsky region. A total of 39,200 Chinese tourists visited the region in the first seven months of 2016 which is 20% more compared to the same period last year. Chinese tourists account for 98% of foreign citizens visiting the Amur region. Most of them take one-day or two-day trips visiting the region’s capital of Blagoveshchensk located in close proximity to the Russian-Chinese border.