The Deputy Prime Minister reported to the President on the results of the organisation of summer recreational activities in Crimea and the Krasnodar Territory in 2016 and on the current situation.
Mr Kozak also reported on the implementation of the instruction to establish a cruise transport link between Sochi and the Crimean Peninsula.
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President of Russia Vladimir Putin: Mr Kozak, let us discuss the very thing that brought about our meeting here in Sochi today. Of course, the occasion was another Formula One race. However, we have other issues, including arranging summer recreation for our citizens in southern Russia.
Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Kozak: Formula One was something we did not do on purpose; it just turned out to be a symbolic event that kicks off the resort season here, in southern Russia, on the Black Sea coast. This applies to both Crimea and Krasnodar Territory where Russians go.
I would like to remind you that in 2016 21.4 million Russians, Russian tourists visited Crimea and Krasnodar Territory. Key tourist facilities are located here.
The number of hotels, spa resorts, so-called collective accommodation locations stands at 4,706, with a total capacity of 525,700 people. This is serious potential, which is growing thanks to the increase in domestic and inbound tourism.
Additional facilities are being actively launched. By the beginning of the current resort season, another 28 hotels will open for more than 3,000 guests.
There are 836 beaches functioning on the Black Sea coast, in Crimea and Krasnodar Territory. A growing number of bookings to Krasnodar Territory and Crimea has become evident.
I would like to remind you that in 2016 Crimea saw inbound tourism growth of 21 percent, with Krasnodar Territory up five percent compared to 2015.
Now the entire infrastructure is working, the transport infrastructure is ready. Subsidised flights to Crimea from 61 Russian cities are running; Crimean ferry service has been made fully operational. From April 30, we have made available a single ticket for transportation from the country’s mainland, including the ferry crossing, to the final destination in the Republic of Crimea.
There is something I would like to highlight… on September 15, 2016, there was a meeting of the State Council’s presidium, and you gave instructions to arrange a cruise line between Sochi and Crimea.
Your assignment has been completed. I would like to show you a cruise ship, which has been equipped and is being prepared for a voyage. (Shows materials.)
Vladimir Putin: Are you launching it now?
Dmitry Kozak: Yes, on May 6, there will be a test voyage on the route from Sochi to Novorossiysk, Yalta, and Sevastopol, and starting on June 11, there will be a regular service.
More than 300 tickets were sold in only two days. This is the first cruise line opened in the history of modern Russia – an extremely important event.
Vladimir Putin: It can take on 960 passengers…
Dmitry Kozak: And will run every week.
Vladimir Putin: Until September, October?
Dmitry Kozak: The resort season is until November 1. And it enjoys great popularity.