Will the resort fee be introduced in Russia?

By Vestnik Kavkaza
Will the resort fee be introduced in Russia?

Russia plans to return to the idea of resort fees which should be spend on improvement of resort facilities. The Ministry of the North Caucasus Affairs believes that resort fees won’t influence availability of resorts – Russian balneal resorts will remain more available than foreign resorts.

The chairman of the Federation Council Committee on Social Policy, Valery Ryazansky, supports the idea: “Krasnodar and Sochi residents, and those who are in Crimea, are sounding the alarm regarding the beach component of tourism. Due to the fact that there is such a suddden increase in tourism traffic, of course, this leads to an overload of the beach zone. It should not be forgotten that our sea is still overloaded with waste, and there is such a forced measure, which was offered – a resort fee, I, for example, support this measure, but it should not be too burdensome. As an example, I can cite beach or resort fees in Spain, they amount to about 1 euro per person. In other words, those should be completely possible fees, but the funds should be spent only on those target tasks, which are associated with cleaning of the beach zone, with the introduction of additional cleaning systems, more attention to the improvement of embankments and those areas, which are objectively enjoying great attention of tourists. It must be done. I think that neither Stavropol Territory nor Krasnodar Territory, nor Sochi, of course, will be able to cope with the tasks without such additional aid.”

According to the senator, there is a fairly high demand for the private sector in these regions. “The private sector does not participate in the formation of the financial welfare of municipalities, it mainly works for itself, it creates a certain competition, and does not participate in support of this infrastructure. In this regard, I believe that it is necessary for us to help the regions, to make such decisions without waiting for a common matrix. For example, a common matrix – let's create a common mechanism for assigning stars to our hotels. Especially since we need to do it for the World Cup. But the problem of Chukotka, star hotels, and the problem of Krasnodar Territory, or Saransk, where the World Cup must be held, or Volgograd – those are different regions, with different tasks and different approaches in this regard. Giving common matrices is understandable, but if the region is already prepared to carry out such a certification, and they are willing to assign these types of categories, if there are common standards, let's not have high expectations. Just like for the resort fee, let's give such a right to the region,”  Ryzansky urges.

He says that “if a region raises the resort fee to extreme amounts, it will lose tourists. If it abides by reasonableness in these issues, it will receive additional resources, which is very important. On the other hand, it is necessary to competently report to the tourism community and citizens about how the money was spent. Right now, quite a lot of work is being done to restore Kislovodsk Park and those beautiful monuments that were near it, the fountain, for example, is being carried out. The work is being carried out there right now. Of course, if the resort fee will be spent on restoration of these wonderful monuments, which we got from the previous generations, certainly no one will regret paying 100 rubles for such monuments to appear or to be restored.”