Crimea has rolled out a red carpet for Indian investors, with Prime Minister Sergey Valeryevich Aksyonov assuring safety of Indians in the region which came under Russian control two years ago. "Crimea has a lot to offer to tourists and investors, in terms of natural beauty, a pleasant climate and developing infrastructure," he said, Indian investors can contact him directly if they face any hurdles in Crimea. "We are trying to attract more tourists to Crimea. We feel there is a lot of scope for Indian tourists in Crimea," he told PTI here, after an interaction with visiting reporters to Crimea. The Crimean leader said his government will boost infrastructure to attract more tourists especially from India. Crimea tourism authorities will address concerns of Indian tourists who face language issues during their visit, he said, adding that these include putting up signboards at important places. "Considering the language barrier faced by tourists, we are planning to start English language courses, although Crimean people learn English during school. "There is a lot of misinformation being spread in Western media about Crimea. However, you can see for yourself that there is no war-like situation here. The Western media says there is a Kalashnikov wielding person on every street corner in Crimea.
But that is not the case," Aksyonov said. The Republic of Crimea became a part of the Russian Federation in March, 2014 as a result of a referendum in which over 96 per cent of Crimean residents voted for the move. Companies from China and Iran have announced their intention to invest in construction of the tourist infrastructure facilities located in Crimea, Aksyonov said. Chinese and Iranian delegations have already inspected potential sites for tourist infrastructure, he said. Representatives of tourist business in India, Iran and China were ready to arrange exchanges of tourist flows with Crimea, he said. Crimean authorities will support the intention of foreign investors to work in the region and have plans to create a comfortable business environment for them, Aksyonov said. The region's minister for resorts andtourism Sergei Strelbitsky said the number of tourists visiting Crimea rose by 26 per cent this year, compared to the last year. This year, so far over four million tourists have come to Crimea, he added. A majority of tourists - almost 42 per cent - visited the Southern Coast of Crimea, while 35 per cent arrived at the Western Coast. The Eastern Coast accounted for 18 per cent of the arrivals, he said. There are now 367 organised beaches in Crimea, he said adding tourism sector tax revenues till July were over 1.15 billion roubles (USD 18.1 million), compared to 806.2 million roubles (USD 12.7 million), in the same period last year. A new web portal www. Visitcrimea. Guide has been launched and an English version of the portal will be launched later this year with the aim to popularise Crimea as an off-season destination, he said. So far, over 1,300 tour guides have been certified by Crimean Ministry of Tourism, the minister said.
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