10 November 2012

Grand Duchess Maria of Russia Believes there is an Excellent Future for Tourism in the Caucasus

Grand Duchess Maria of Russia Believes there is an Excellent Future for Tourism in the Caucasus

The Head of the Imperial House of Romanov, Grand Duchess Maria of Russia, is convinced that the Northern Caucasus and Ingushetia are “an important example for the entire world of how one can preserve family traditions, value one’s roots, and esteem and respect one’s elders and parents.” The Heiress to Russia’s emperors, who is in the second day of her visit to Ingushetia, is “struck by the beauty of the Caucasus” and believes that the development of tourism here “is very promising.”

“Indeed, I have for a long time wanted to visit your region,” the Grand Duchess said in an interview with a correspondent from TASS, noting that she had “heard so much” from her parents about the Caucasus, and now she has made a personal dream of hers to visit here come true.

According to Grand Duchess Maria of Russia, “it is especially important that the peoples of the Caucasus serve as an example for the entire world because they have preserved their family traditions, they haven’t forgotten their ancestors and they value their roots.” “I believe it is always better to preserve close relations with the members of one’s family than to search for them somewhere else or with strangers. In your wondrous land, in Ingushetia, peoples of many different nationalities and religious backgrounds live peacefully and well, they help each other and respect each other. When I return to Spain, I will be telling others of how you live here in the Caucasus and how your experience in very important for them to know,” the Grand Duchess said.

The distinguished guest was very impressed with the future ski resorts in Tsori and Armkhi, which are being built in Ingushetia. According to the Grand Duchess, she was very pleased to accept the invitation for the President of Ingushetia, Yunus-Bek Yevkurov, to visit the new ski slopes, which had opened in the resort in Armkhi just in November. “I, like all Russians, love the snow and wintertime, and I was pleased to visit the ski resorts in the Jeirakh region of Ingushetia. This is such a beautiful region, and I believe that this is a good place for tourism to flourish,” the Grand Duchess said. “I am not a politician. My activities center on social improvement, but I will be telling everyone about the beauty I have seen in this region.”

Grand Duchess Maria of Russia arrived in Ingushetia yesterday. She was met at the airport by the President of Ingushetia, Yunus-Bek Yevkurov, by members of the National Assembly, and by other prominent figures in the region. Following an old custom, Her Imperial Highness was greeted with platters bearing samples of the national cuisine of Ingushetia, including bread (lepeshka) and sweets (halva).

At the airport, the Grand Duchess laid a wreath at the monument to Sulambek Oskanov, the first “Hero of the Russian Federation,” after whom the airport in Magas is named. The Grand Duchess’s itinerary has been arranged so as to showcase for Her Imperial Highness the history, culture, and traditions of the Ingush people, and the economic and social changes underway at present in the Republic. The Russian Imperial Flag has been raised at the Magas Airport, where the Grand Duchess landed, and at her place of residence in the city of Magas.

As reported by our TASS correspondent in the Press Service of the President of Ingushetia, the ski lift in Armkhi has been completed. The length of the first run is 900 meters and is designed for beginner skiers. Eventually, the run will be lengthened to 2,500 meters. “The mountainous terrain of Jeirakh permits the construction here of ski runs of any category of difficulty. But we are starting with the construction of runs designed for amateurs. We will be expanding things in phases,” according to the Press Service.

The decision to create a special economic development zone for tourism in Ingushetia was made by the Russian government in December 2011, and in January 2012 an agreement was formally signed in Moscow creating a Special Economic Zone (SEZ). It is planned to build two ski resorts in Ingushetia—one in Tsori and the other in Armkhi. According to preliminary estimates, the resorts will occupy 50 square kilometers, comprise 62 kilometers of ski runs, and have 19 ski lifts.

There is the potential to create hotel capacity for 12,500 tourists, and the anticipated daily capacity of the resorts is 28,000 tourists. Under the direction of the company “Resorts of the Northern Caucasus” a large-scale project is underway to construct in the south of Russia a complex of world-class ski resorts in Lagonaki (Krasnodar region, Adygeia), Arkhyz (Karachaevo-Cherkessia), Elbrus-Bezengi (Kabardino-Balkariia), Mamison (Northern Ossetia), Matlas (Dagestan), Tsori and Armkhi (Ingushetia), as well as ski resorts on the coast of the Capsian Sea in Dagestan.






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