Yachting tourism to be developed in Russia
Olga Shebzukhova
Head of the Alliance Marine Development company

Yachting tourism to be developed in Russia

Yachting tourism will be developed on the Azov Sea and the Black Sea coasts of Russia. Today, this type of travelling in our country is in its nascent state, while the global yachting industry has manufactured thousands of yachts and made many yacht marinas, and it often is an important factor in the economic development of many countries. In Italy, there are 111 marinas with almost 40,000 yachts, in Greece - 241 marinas for 670,000 yachts, in Spain - 329 marinas for 112,000 yachts. In Turkey, the Russia’s neighbour, the yachting tourism is considered one of the ways to strengthen the economy, generating a quarter of the income from the entire travel industry. By 2023, its contribution will be at least €14.6 bn. The implementation of a special concept, which has already been approved by the Government of the country and the Administration of the Krasnodar Territory will help the yachting development in Russia. Olga Shebzukhova, one of the yachting tourism concept developers, Head of the Alliance Marine Development company, spoke about the future yachting projects on the Black Sea coast of Russia.

- First of all, why did you come up with the idea of developing the yachting tourism on the Azov Sea and the Black Sea coasts of Russia?

- The development of yachting in our country was considered back in the 1990s. The need for this was justified by an expert in hydraulic engineering, yacht captain Nikolay Grishin whose work was the basis for the concept for developing the infrastructure for yachting and coastal sea passenger traffic on the Azov Sea and the Black Sea coasts of Russia. Today, there are a number of yacht marinas. In Sochi, this is a yacht club set up for the 1980 Olympics, marinas in the seaport and the Imeretinsky port. Also, there are small yacht clubs on the coast in Anapa, Gelendzhik, Taganrog, and so on. But in such marinas, there is neither equipment for servicing yachts, nor the necessary modern infrastructure. Now, all the marinas of the Russia’s Black Sea coast can host up to 500 yachts. At the same time, according to the Administration of the Krasnodar Territory, Russia ranks second in the world in the purchase of yachts, the Russians leave over €200 mn abroad every year for their yachts’ maintenance and the marinas. The coastal sea communication has long been developed throughout the world. Apparently, it’s high time for Russia to take another step towards the integration with the world tourism industry.

- What does the concept of developing the yachting infrastructure foresee and what will be the result of its implementation?

- The concept involves the construction of 21 marinas to form the base. This will allow receiving up to 10 thousand yachts. A marina is, in fact, a backbone enterprise. It includes not only a mooring, but also other infrastructure, from maintenance facilities and servicing ships to many hotels. All over the world, these are peculiar points of attraction where various events and festivals are held, and related businesses are developed, and not necessarily tourism ones only. For example, one of the leading Russian companies engaged in fishing and fish processing contacted us. Today, their boats are based in Turkey, after the construction of marinas on the Russia’s Black Sea coast, they expect to transfer them here.

- Where will the marinas be located? 


- Determining the location of the marinas is one of the most important issues. According to the laws of navigation, marinas should be located at a distance of no more than 20 nautical miles from each other, this ensures safe sailing. To better understand, it is enough to imagine a car that requires refuelling. Nobody would like to go to another city located more than 500 km away, to fill the tank. But you can’t create marinas just where you want to. An example is the Sochi seaport built in the 1930s. Located at the mouth of the Sochi River, it blocked the natural release of pebbles, and the city’s beaches were endangered. A similar situation was also with the Imeretinsky port built as part of the preparation of the city for the Winter Olympic Games. Another negative example is the backfill in layers along the railway tracks, which is carried out by Russian Railways without any strategy and analytical study. Because of this, the beaches in Loo have already been lost. This proves that it is necessary to build hydraulic structures in certain places only. Therefore, a special group of professionals, including the experts in architecture and hydrology, selected the marina locations. Eight marinas will be made in Sochi, in all areas of the resort city. Competent determination of the marina locations will not only solve the issues of protecting the coast and preserve the Black Sea beaches, but also add about 15 km of new embankments. It will also help distribute the population along the coast. For example, the residents of the Sochi’s Lazarevsky District will no longer have to work in the centre of the city, where the main places of accommodation are concentrated. These eight Sochi marinas will give the city up to 30 thousand hotel rooms and 45 thousand jobs.

- Taking into account the peculiarities of the Black Sea coast of the country, the configuration of terrain and seismicity, what technology will be used for the implementation of the marina project?

- To build marinas, special manmade land will be made - a kind of peninsulas. There are already examples of such solutions in the world. Of course, first of all, there are similar projects implemented in the United Arab Emirates. However, taking into account the Black Sea seismicity and geology, the technologies that are used in Japan are more suitable for us. One of the successful examples of creating the reclaimed land areas was a project implemented on the Cote d’Azur where the apartment complex is located on an area of six hectares in the Mediterranean Sea. Similar technologies were used in our country. In preparation for the Winter Olympic Games in Sochi, a filled-up land area was made in the sea during the reconstruction of the seaport.

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- One of the important issues arising in any construction is an environmental sustainability...

- The main principle for the implementation of large investment projects today is the sustainability. It allows you to find a balance between the economic benefits, social demand and environmental safety. In addition to architects, hydrology specialists, engineers, and etc., the yachting concept developers include ecologists, too. We monitor the situation in the Black Sea and made sure that the existing hydraulic structures had a positive effect on the environment. Thanks to them, natural habitats are created, a kind of artificial reefs, and the number and variety of marine species of the sedentary biocenosis of the ichthyofauna are increasing. Thus, due to the macroporous structure of the marinas, the conditions for the life of fish, mollusks, and algae will appear.

- The implementation of the concept is designed for the period up to 2030. What will be the first steps and what is the source of funding the project?

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- The Krasnodar Territory Administration and the Government of the country approved the yachting development concept, and an algorithm has been launched for its implementation as an investment project. The implementation of the yachting infrastructure development concept on the Azov Sea and the Black Sea coasts of the country will require about one trillion roubles. The projects will be carried out as part of a public-private partnership. In July 2021, an international architectural competition was held for the project for the development of the central embankment of Sochi with making a manmade area of more than 50 hectares and a marina for 400 yachts. The construction of the Prokhladny (Cool) Canyon Marina in the Lazarevsky District of Sochi (in Golovinka), will be an important pilot project and it will host 250 yachts. The Feasibility Study has already been developed, the first investments have been attracted, the economics have been calculated and the technologies have been chosen. Now, the main task is to make amendments to the legislation, which will resolve the issues of creating reclaimed land areas, reduce risks for investors and the region. In this regard, it is planned to start the implementation of the Prokhladny Canyon Marina project in Golovinka within the next two years.

More details: https://инвестиции-строительство.рф/гидротехнические_объекты/