Kabardino-Balkaria to open school for training tourist cluster guides.

12/7 Tass 424

NALCHIK, July 12 (Itar-Tass) —— The Kabardino-Balkaria Federation of Mountaineering and Sport Tourism will open a school for training guides and instructors of the prospective North Caucasian tourist cluster, Federation head and cofounder Mukhtar Bottayev told Itar-Tass on Tuesday.

“The first 15-20 students will be admitted in August. They will have ten months of training,” he said. “The training program will be based on the growing demand of the tourism industry and the development of local resorts,” he said.

“A lot of picturesque landscapes in Kabardino-Balkaria are beyond reach from motorways, deep inside highlands, and people practically do not see them. The nature of this republic, which has high mountains, beautiful valleys and forests, makes it possible to develop tourist routes of various categories for skiers, mountaineers and people who simply love to walk,” he said.

The construction of five alpine skiing resorts in the North Caucasus – Matlas in Dagestan, Mamison in North Ossetia, Arkhyz in Karachayevo-Cherkessia, Lagonaki in the Krasnodar territory and Adygeya and Elbrus in Kabardino-Balkaria – is a priority project of the federal authorities. The North Caucasian Resorts State Corporation was formed for implementing the project, and Bilalov was put in charge. The investments may reach one trillion rubles within ten years, and about 300,000 jobs will be created.

Israeli specialists are assisting the drafting of a multi-level systemic concept of the security of North Caucasian resort clusters, North Caucasian Resorts Corporation head, Vice-President of the Russian Olympic Committee Akhmed Bilalov told Itar-Tass.

“We will analyze the experience of the Israeli state in the provision of security and will adopt the best techniques,” he said.

“Israel, which actually lives in a state of war and has a population of seven million, receives about 3.5 million tourists each year. Certainly, we will borrow the experience of their security agents and technical experience,” he said. “Our specialists saw that aircraft in Israel are filming everything, up to the balls children are playing with.”

“The level of their security system is so high that they provide maximal protection under the most difficult conditions,” Bilalov noted.

Russia and Israel are forming joint working groups to assist the provision of security of tourists in the North Caucasus. “We will develop a complex security system, from airports to ropeways,” he said.

Russia is also studying the Israeli experience of resort development, he said. “We plan to create a certain number of jobs in the North Caucasus [in particular, in building hotels], which will improve the local situation,” he said.

“The crime rate [in the North Caucasus] is smaller than that in other places [such as Moscow or St. Petersburg], but crimes committed here are violent and high profile,” he remarked. “Crime and terrorism in the Caucasus are problems that must be resolved for implementing the [tourist cluster] project,” he said.

“We must make residents of the Caucasus realize that they are responsible for a positive image of the region and guaranteed security of tourists meets their interests,” he said.

“In this case, people will prevent negative incidents. They will understand that otherwise all of them – taxi drivers, shop assistants, tour guides and cafe owners – will lose jobs. The security of tourists is a token of the prosperity of their families,” Bilalov said.

In his opinion, the prospective tourism cluster in the North Caucasus will promote sports in Russia and broaden the list of Russian cities hosting international competitions.

“New athlete training centers and new possibilities provided by a particular region – North Caucasian resorts – will give a good impetus to the development of sports throughout the country and sport infrastructure in particular regions,” he said.

“We need to change. We have practically no centers for training athletes in winter or summer sports. So, we must prepare all of our regions, both European Russia, Siberia and the Far East, for being able to host Olympic games,” he said.

The development of the infrastructure will be insufficient without changing people’s attitude to sports, he remarked.

An ElbitSecurity delegation visited Moscow last week at the invitation of the corporation’s security department to study cooperation options.

Earlier, the Russian-French working group for the development of North Caucasian resorts met in Paris to discuss the establishment of a joint venture, which will build resort infrastructure.

The negotiations were held between the North Caucasian Resorts State Corporation and the French state holding Caisse des Depots et Consignations.

Several dozens of French companies attended the meeting to express their interest in the project.

The Russian corporation and the French holding signed the cooperation agreement at the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum on June 17. Presidents Dmitry Medvedev and Nicolas Sarkozy adopted a declaration on the North Caucasian development at the G8 Deauville summit. North Caucasian resorts are listed amongst primary goals of bilateral cooperation.

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