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The Economics of Hospitality, Today and Tomorrow
14 February 2019
14:30—15:45
KEY CONCLUSIONS
Regions of the North Caucasus actively develop tourism industry

In 2014, 338 thousand people went to the Arkhyz, Elbrus and Veduchi resorts, while in 2018 this number went up to 640 thousand. We plan to raise this number up to 1.6 million people by 2025. These are feasible figures, we can definitely do it — Sergei Chebotarev, Minister of North Caucasus Affairs of the Russian Federation.

Stavropol Territory is actively developing in every possible way. We are issuing a calendar of events. Note that out 250 important events in Russia, 50 will take place in the region of Caucasian Mineral Waters, including 9 international ones. This year Stavropol Territory will host the ‘BRICS and SCO Student Spring’ — Gennady Yagubov, Chairman of the legislative Assembly of the Stavropol territory.

The region’s touristic potential is underused

According to the Russian Federal State Statistics Service, in 2017 – to be precise – 8,028,839 international tourists were accommodated in Russian hotels, but that number includes only 56,903 people in the North Caucasus Federal District — Yury Bogdanov, Anchor, Russia 24 TV Channel.

ISSUES
Limited infrastructure

Initially there were plans to expand infrastructure in Dzheyrakh District, but we have minimized them to avoid damaging the nature and the whole atmosphere. Now we mainly need to develop the minimum needed for tourists. As for the rest, locals will develop their agricultural households to earn and to profit off tourists as well — Yunus-Bek Yevkurov, Head of the Republic of Ingushetia.

Weak promotion of North Caucasus resorts

We just started pursuing this – through publicity, through promotion of our thermal springs — Kazbek Kokov, Acting Head of the Kabardino-Balkarian Republic.

The industry needs more qualified human resources

The biggest problem for international tourists is not just the visas, <…> it is the lack of medical tourism or sanatorium and resort facilities in the areas they would like to visit. <…> The problem of qualified medical personnel is even a bigger one — Aleksandra Ulich, Chief Executive Officer, Kivach Clinic.

If we disregard financial issues, I am mostly worried about the talent pool. I would like to have a pool of mid-level managers, hotel top managers that would resolve the problems regardless of the main managing company. <…> We need young qualified and active personnel — Anna Borisova, Development Director, AZIMUT Hotels Company.

SOLUTIONS
Promoting investment in tourism industry

Our Republic has laws that provide tax exemptions to those who come with this purpose. There are other forms of support that help operating in our Republic — Vyacheslav Bitarov, Head of the Republic of North Ossetia-Alania.

Focusing on customers

First of all, we need to focus on those tourists that already come to us or consider coming. <…> These were predominantly residents of the southern part of Russia 3–4 years ago, while now top three regions would be the European part of Russia, Moscow, St. Petersburg, Siberia and the Urals — Rashid Temrezov, Head of the Karachay-Cherkess Republic.

We need to focus on the tourist’s profile and image – that will determine what we need to develop. Practically speaking, do we need to build night clubs for younger people or sanatoriums or something else? <…> We need to highlight those segments to avoid wasting money — Yury Bogdanov, Anchor, Russia 24 TV Channel.

Events bring business tourists. It is an important factor, as they spend 3–4 times more than regular ones. It is a major point for regional social and economic development — Alexey Kalachev, Chief Executive Officer, Russia Convention Bureau.

Active promotion of tourism product

We need to promote specific regions, we need to promote specific tourism products, but we always try to find a connection between them — Katja Zhekova, First Secretary, Tourism Attache, Embassy of the Republic of Bulgaria in the Russian Federation.

If every region of the North Caucasus Federal District had its own unique brand, their consistent positioning would become easier — Anvar Gadzhiyev, Adviser to the General Director, Agency for Strategic Initiatives to Promote New Projects.

We can develop domestic tourism, but we have a great potential abroad as well – we just need to get through to them <…> We strive to reach 50% in domestic market, and the rest should go to the international one — Sandor Fabian, First Secretary, Attache for Foreign Economic Relations (Tourism), Embassy of Hungary in the Russian Federation.

Visa liberalization

Tour operators are important partners in developing tourism. If it is hard for them in this country, they will look for other opportunities. So, if we take the visa issue, they either need to be cancelled, or if it is not possible, make them easier — Gernod Loose, Department Director, Russian Union of Travel Industry in Germany.

The material was prepared by the Russian news agency TASS