Residents invested more than 8 billion rubles in the development of tourist SEZs in 2023

Tourist special economic zones continue to be attractive sites for investment and points of attraction for tourists. Last year, residents of the tourist SEZ built 26 modular hotels, about 3 museum complexes and several pavilions for events. More than 1.6 million tourists have rested in the territories of the tourist SEZ. This was announced by Vitaly Altabaev, Director of the Regional Development Department of the Ministry of Economic Development of Russia, following the results of the expert session "Tourist clusters. SEZ" within the framework of the tourism day at the exhibition-forum "Russia".

"10 tourist SEZs have been created in Russia. Now we have 120 residents who have made 33 billion investments, and 2,000 jobs have been created. About half of these results have been achieved over the past 4 years – 52 new residents have been registered, 21 billion rubles of investments have been invested, 1 thousand jobs have been created," Vitaly Altabaev noted.

According to him, residents of tourist SEZs are already using subsidized interest rates on loans in a simplified manner. Investors are also attracted by preferential land lease rules and preferential tax treatment.

"We are actively working with the regions so that all possibilities are used for infrastructure development, including the restructuring of budget loans, infrastructure budget loans and special treasury loans. Recently, a simplified transition to tax monitoring has been introduced, which allows for digitalization of accounting, online support by the tax service and double-accelerated VAT refund," Vitaly Altabaev stressed.
The Executive Director of the Caucasus.Khasan Timizhev told how the corporation has been managing half of all SEZs of this type for more than 10 years and has extensive experience in attracting residents and private investments into the territory of the North Caucasus Federal District. In particular, the state represented by the Caucasus.The Russian Federation chooses promising tourist locations and creates all the necessary infrastructure (roads, utility networks, electricity, gas, water). This allows investors to save up to 30% of their costs.
"There are parameters of the model resort that we strive for — the number of trails and lifts, accommodation facilities, tourist flow. When they are reached, the resort continues to develop mainly on private investment, and we switch to creating new growth points. For example, Arkhyz, created on behalf of the President of the Russian Federation, was brought to operational profitability and transferred to the management of a private investor. The proceeds from the sale have been reinvested in other SEZs in the region. Despite the fact that we use the same approaches to the development of the SEZ, we pay great attention to the integrated development of the territories adjacent to the resort through master planning. Another focus of attention is the search for the individual style of each resort through branding and other visual elements," said Hassan Timizhev.

Roman Kiranchuk, General Director of the Arkhyz Management Company, spoke about the prospects for the development of the Arkhyz Resort, the fulfillment of investment obligations and the specifics of the master planning of the SEZ territory.

"In the coming years, Arkhyz will have to double its ski infrastructure and build new tourist villages. Already in 2024, we plan to receive almost a million guests at the resort," Roman Kiranchuk said.

Konstantin Pytchenko, Minister of Economic Development of the Kemerovo Region — Kuzbass, shared plans for the development of the Gornaya Shoriya SEZ.

"The application for the creation of the Gornaya Shoriya SEZ includes three investment projects with a total investment of 41.5 billion rubles and plans to create 4,000 new jobs," Konstantin Pytchenko said.

Evgeny Kazantsev, Acting head of the Altai Territory Department for Tourism and Resort Development, spoke about plans for the development of a new tourist territory "Foothills of Altai", which includes three investment sites: Belokurikha, the Siberian Coin gambling zone and the Turquoise Katun SEZ.

"The sites are designed for a one-time accommodation of about 10 thousand people. This territory is now united by a common transport infrastructure," he said.

"There are 23 residents registered on the territory of the Baikal Gate SEZ. Investors plan to build new cable cars and ski slopes, a five-star hotel with apartment complexes, restaurants and a SPA, as well as a 4* ski hotel with a spa complex. At the moment, we have completed the construction of the first stage of power supply networks, signed contracts for the construction of the rest of the supporting infrastructure, received permission to build a high-speed chairlift of the Sobolinaya Mountain complex, and are preparing to open a new hotel," commented Vyacheslav Bayanov, General Director of the Baikal Gate SEZ in the Irkutsk Region.

"The total number of accommodations in the territory of the Baikal Harbor SEZ will amount to more than 4 thousand rooms in 4* and 5* hotels. Currently, the construction of the 4* Green Flow Baikal hotel and thermal complex is underway, planning projects for existing residents have been approved, and design estimates for the engineering and tourist infrastructure of the future Cosmos Baikal Hotel are being developed. New modular hotels are scheduled to open in the spring," said Maxim Sharipov, General Director of the Baikal Harbor SEZ in the Republic of Buryatia.

"In 2023, 26 modular hotels were built in addition to the existing ones in the Zavidovo SEZ. The opening of a family park is planned for this year. In 2025, all the facilities of the Zavidovo Park project will be commissioned, hotels with 1,130 rooms, a water entertainment center and a ski slope," said Olga Bereznitskaya, a leading specialist in external communications of the Zavidovo SEZ integrated development project in the Tver Region.

The exhibition was moderated by Mikhail Labudin, Director of the Association of Clusters, Technoparks and SEZs of Russia (AKIT RF). He summed up the results, noting that the tourist and recreational SEZ is a promising development tool.

"Colleagues from existing SEZs have shown by their example the attractiveness of this tool, and many Russian regions are interested in creating such sites with preferential treatment. The SEZ mechanism allows us to solve many problems of the tourism industry: the creation of infrastructure, a new number of rooms," he said.