World-class mountain skiing resorts to appear in North Ossetia.

21/7 Tass 379 A

MOSCOW, July 21 (Itar-Tass) — North Ossetia has all chances to become the first region in the North Caucasus to create a world-class alpine skiing resort, according to Alexei Nevskiy, the general director of the North Caucasus Resorts Company.

In a live interview with the Ekho Moskvy radio Nevskiy said that North Ossetia could become the first because of stable socio-political situation and the absence of problems in preparing documents for land allotments allocated for resorts.

Nevskiy said that five special economic zones would be set up for the five planned resorts in the North Caucasus.

“This land is free. When our experts laid possible routes they proceeded from the fact that this land should be free,” Nevskiy explained. However, he added that there was some private land and private households in that territory and that the local authorities who most interested in developing the project would solve all the problems linked to land.

Nevskiy said that the project would also cover a coastal territory near Makhachkala, the capital of Dagestan. There were plans to build a German Village there several years ago. Though no decision has been made on this issue as of yet, an agreement with investors to build the infrastructure in this new cluster has been signed. “There will be no mountain resorts here, of course,” Nevskiy went on to say.

He explained that his company’s task was to develop world-class resorts in the Caucasus both in terms of infrastructure and security.

“We are in contact with the world’s leading companies from France and Israel which have experience in organizing security,” Nevskiy emphasized.

More than half of potential tourists are expected to come from the nearby regions; 20%-30% from Central Russia, 10% from the near abroad and 5%-10% from Western Europe.

Nevskiy said that most tourists would be citizens of Russia. He promised that prices would be moderate and affordable.

The North Caucasus Resorts Company was established in December last year to supervise the construction of five alpine skiing resorts in the territory of the North Caucasus. The project costs about 450 billion roubles. Sixty billion roubles have already been allocated from the state budget for the construction of mountain skiing resorts, Nevskiy stressed.

He believes that the creation of Alpine skiing resorts in the North Caucasus will contribute to developing education in the region.

Nevskiy said that a concept for securing human resources for the mountainous cluster was being worked out. A list of most wanted professions and occupations will be submitted to the Russian government in a special program in the next six months. Hotel and restaurant business, the professions of alpine skiing instructors and mountain guides require certain education, Nevskiy noted.

“That will make it necessary to adjust the curricula in educational establishments in the North Caucasus. It’s possible that new paid programs will be opened. That will give the educational establishments in the region an opportunity to develop,” Nevskiy went on to say.

He believes that these new educational programs can be developed and implemented jointly with foreign institutions of high learning. “Of course, some state support will be needed,” Nevskiy said.

He added that the project of creating a tourist cluster in the North Caucasus would increase the demand for service personnel and managers so much that the region would have to attract human resources from other parts of Russia.

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