KISLOVODSK, August 3 (Itar-Tass) —— Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin, at a meeting with representatives of youth organizations of the North Caucasus Federal District in KIslovodsnk, suggested that false stereotypes about the Caucasus people should be abandoned. He said such stereotypes are explained not by the set of mind but by low cultural and educational level of those who adhere to such stereotypes.
“I may be wrong, but when tourists come, and local personnel pinches women tourists, some may like it but not all, and the number of tourists will dwindle,” the premier said.
Putin said it is an error to say mountaineers cannot make themselves “wait on tourists”.
“Mountaineers are proud people, but they are meant not only for fighting. There are many talented people here – poets, writers, engineers, scientists and the military,” the premier said.
He recalled how in the times of the Soviet Union it was known to all that there are very good building workers in the Caucasus and their teams travel all over the country building various projects.
“Those who talk contemptuously about ‘waiting on tourists’ are wrong,” he said. “Tourism is a very important industry in many countries. When there is awareness that prosperity of local people may depend on it, the set of mind changes quickly and it is understood that this is not servility but an honorable occupation requiring special training and high qualifications,” Putin stressed.
He said there is another aspect: the unwillingness and inability to work at high standards result from a low educational and cultural level rather than the set of mind.
The premier said Russia must not loose sight of the competitive advantages of the Caucasus region.
Putin expressed confidence that the attitude to the tourism industry would change when big investors come and organize work in accordance with European standards.
“I may surmise that when the volume of business grows, local entrepreneurs will be reluctant to permit anyone to enter and disrupt their business,” the premier said regarding an assertion that tourists’ security is not ensured sufficiently. Putin believes business people interested in the development of the tourism industry “will cooperate with the authorities and will take measures themselves to ensure security of their facilities.”