Tourist flow to Kabardino-Balkaria shows steady grow.
According to the results of the three quarters of 2023, the air harbor of Mineralnye Vody (Stavropol territory) increased passenger flow to 3 million people, an increase of 21% compared to the same indicator in 2022, reported the press-service. Mineralnye Vody is the gate for mice tourism (Mineralnye Vody expo has opened its doors in 2019), medical tourism and mountain and ski tourism. The numerous opportunities of them are presented at the exhibition-forum "Russia", which is dedicated to the achievements of all Russian regions. The event is held at VDNKh, Moscow from November to 12 April 2024, where cultural, tourist, agricultural and scientific-educational spheres of the region's activities will be presented to the future guests.
“In 10 months of 2023, the district (of North Caucasus) was visited by 5.4 million tourists, which is 63% more than in the same period a year earlier. We expect that by the end of this year the number of guests to the resorts will exceed 1.6 million people", said Deputy Prime Minister Alexander Novak during the exhibition-forum "Russia". It is planned that by 2031, five resorts will be fully operated (mountain resorts - Elbrus, Veduchi, Mamison, Armkhi) and one sea resort on the Caspian coast.
Besides all republics of North Caucasus, Kabardino-Balkaria shows steady grow. “In the first quarter of 2023, the growth in tourist flow was almost 20%. Many mountaineering and trekking holiday lovers have already booked hotels and are waiting for New Year holidays," said Olga Pogrebnyak, head of the Public Relations and Marketing Department of the Ministry of Resorts and Tourism of Kabardino-Balkaria. In 2023 more than 60% of tourists choose Kabardino-Balkaria for recreation repeatedly, of which 24% of tourists visited the republic twice, MTS director in Kabardino-Balkaria Eldar Zalikhanov commented on big data research of the mobile operator.
The outstanding history of the North Caucasus will take you to the trails of the Great Silk Road, Byzantine trading factories, cultural traditions, customs and sights, and you will always be surrounded by mountains. The most popular locations for travelers are undoubtedly the Elbrus resort, Dzhyly-Su and the resort city of Nalchik, famous by its sanatoriums and mineral springs. According to Mikhail Danilov, the medical director of the Association of Health Tourism and Corporate Health of Russia (AOT), only for two months of January-February 2023, the increase in the load of Caucasus Mineralnye Vody region sanatoriums compared to the same period of 2022 is from 30 to 40%. In Nalchik there are approximately 20 of them, the new recreation complexes of thermal springs in Geduko and Baksan out of the city may also be of great interest of the tourists exploring the region.
The unique Elbrus region is famous for its picturesque gorges, which have repeatedly been the location of films shooting in the USSR and Russia. The Ministry of resorts and tourism of Kabardino-Balkaria, the constant participant of tourism exhibitions and workshops was proud to announce Elbrus as the best ski resort in Russia during the years. Mount Elbrus has more than 100 names as 100 nationalities lived historically in this region close to the Georgian border, although one of the most famous meaning of Elbrus is the Mount of Happiness. In the end of December 2 new ski routes up to 2,5 km will be opened there (due the forecast and snowstorms).
The altitude amplitude in the Kabardino-Balkaria is unique and consists of 5501 m which may be the issue of blood pressure and mountain sickness. That is why the process of the correct selection of guides is so important. Mount Elbrus is one of the most significant peaks in the world with an elevation of 5642 metres (18,510 feet). Both the peaks of Elbrus summits are dormant volcanic domes. More than 20 glaciers that cover the Elbrus feed the rivers of Kuban, Malka and Baksan. All the mineral springs of the Elbrus region have different chemical composition, so they can be used to treat a variety of diseases, which opens widest horizons for the development of medical tourism in the region too. The Ministry promotes the tourism opportunities of the region a lot, evolving the strategy of development of the Republic with the focus of recovery and ecology.
The classic routes of climbing Elbrus from the south, through the Azau glade became very famous during last three-five years, including family climbs with 15 y.o. teenagers as the director of tour-operator Suntrek, Anna Abramova told us. At the moment the boy who became one of their first climbers, has reached all of the seven Russian summits and even conquered Mount Everest. Mountaineering guides of Suntrek tour operator, including its director Anna Abramova, cooperated with Channel 4 TV channel and prepared Red Bull photographers for filming on Everest. Anna says, at the moment, the flow of European foreigners has decreased (Germany, France, Switzerland, etc.), but climbers from India, China, the Middle East, Iran still try to conquer Elbrus. Before 2019, trekking was not so easy to sell but nowadays significant changes have been noticed. There are many climbers who are trying active tours for the first time, preferring comfort, mid-range and expensive tours, including climbing and paragliding. Mostly they are 35-45 years old, but 27 – 50 years old at average.
There are few famous campings, glampings and guesthouses such as Fly Chegem, paradrome in Kabardino-Balkaria, which is known to every paraglider in Russia. The owner of Fly Chegem, Marat Mushkaev, noticed that mostly people feel lack of adrenaline in their blood. But they also prefer comfort and beautiful landscapes. That is why the number of repeaters is growing in their camping and guesthouses, and for the most fastidious of them the new hotel which design reminds the Tower of Love (village of El-Tyubyu) will be finalized this winter.
New glamping O2Kislorod Chegem in picturesque Chegem gorges was recenty opened at the same place and as the sales director Rustam anticipates the popularity and significant number of booking till the end of the year, too. Mostly the tourists are from the south of Russia, Syberia and Moscow or Moscow regions.
The rich flora and fauna from the Caucasian mountains will show the new eco-life style: the nature’s divine beauty with the lush mountains, rejuvenating the soul, and occurred being a driver for the new tourists flow.
The Caucasus Investment Forum will serve as an effective tool for interaction with the business community of the North Caucasus Federal District. In 2024, by the decision of the President of the Russian Federation, the Caucasus Investment Forum will be held at the MinvodyExpo multifunctional exhibition centre for the second time which may show new trends in the hospitality and investment spheres.
Photos by Zaur Karamyzov, a member of Russian Geographical Society, director of the Union of Photographers and Cinematographers “Novator”.