Krasnodar, 5 September – Yug Times. Our today’s interviewee, regional Minister for Resorts and Olympic Heritage Svetlana Balaeva, recounts about the 2019 summer season.
Q. Can you give any forecasts about the results of the year, based on the results of the high summer season?
A.: The holding of such important events as the Olympic Games and global football contests (the World Cup and the Confederation Cup) has let us demonstrate the recreational and tourist potential of Krasnodar province at the world market. But this year, the flow of tourists has even e little bit exceeded our expectations: from the beginning of the year until September 1, over 13,5 million tourists visited Kuban, or more than for the same period in 2018. In summer, 10,4 million holidaymakers visited Kuban.
Q. Apart from the beaches and the sea, what were the most popular tourist trends last summer? What are those you will be staking on during the ‘velvet season’?
A.: Now the very notion of ‘seasonality’ of the Kuban resorts is slipping away. We are beginning to work in the all-year-round mode - the difference is that seaside recreation in summer is replaced by alpine skiing in winter. But all seasons are important as health-improving, cultural, business and event tourisms, as well as active sports and agricultural tourism.
Now there are over 620 tourist destinations in the region, of which about 460 work throughout a year.
About 300 tours work in summer, of which 170 can be booked all year round. There are about 200 spa resorts and health centres, but 140 of them are open throughout a year. Agricultural tourism also acquires popularity. If some five years ago, there were about 40 tourist destinations of the kind, now 105 companies offer Kuban cuisine and wine tasting tours, tea tours, horse ridings, fishing and hunting tours, and other activities.
In fact, every fifth tour is an agricultural destination: apiaries, cheese dairies, eco farms, ethnographic centres, agri-tourist complexes with a full set of services and decent infrastructure.
Q.: Are the Kuban resorts interesting for foreign tourists?
A.: According to the Border Guards Administration, about a million foreigners visit our region every year, of which more than 30,000 come as tourists. These figures do not include business tourists; though the foreign tourists mainly come to visit business events. Foreigners like cultural and Olympic tourism too. In Russia, it is only our region that can offer this kind of tourist activities.