Half a Million Tourists Expected at the Sochi Olympics

Vladimir Savelyev, 18.02.2014 11:28
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It has been the 4th day of the Olympics, and many of those who came to see the Games say: “Russia can be proud of what it has achieved.” The renovated Sochi is a sight to behold, and the opening ceremony left the world speechless.

Experts believe that Sochi may very well offer competition to the leading foreign seaside resorts.

Before the Olympics started, there had been fears that the city would not be able to provide accommodation for all the visitors. However, by the fourth day of the Games there are still free rooms in hotels.

The authorities built and reconstructed 39 accommodation facilities for the Olympics, which have a total of 22 thousand rooms. According to Tatyana Khramova, Head Specialist of the ‘Krasnodar Krai’ department of ‘Roza Vetrov’, many of these facilities are part of international hotel chains Hayat, Azimut, Radisson, Pullman, and Marriott. Official guests of the Olympics are staying in all of these hotels.

Ms. Khramova told TRN magazine that there still were vacant rooms in the Big Sochi hotels, and that tourists were still booking them.



“Granted, the hotels in the Sochi Olympic Park and the Imeretinsky Valley, which are in the immediate vicinity of the Olympic facilities, are sold out at least till February 20, and the same goes for Krasnaya Polyana. But you can find vacant rooms for the later dates,” said Khramova.

For instance, on Friday it was quite possible to book a room for February 20 and onwards at Grand Hotel Polyana.

According to her, it is possible to book rooms for the coming days at the mini-hotels of Adler and Dagomys. The price of a double room starts at 5,500 ($127) rubles (no breakfast). Despite the fact that Adler is closer to the Olympic facilities than Dagomys, the price of rooms is the same.

Ms. Khramova also said that the majority of tourists book rooms for 3-4 days.

At the beginning of January the sale of rooms in the cruise ships anchored in the ports Imeretinsky Bay and Kruiznaya Harbor was officially canceled. According to Sergei Voytovich, General Director of Svoy TT, which is the operator that oversaw accommodation on these ships, 45-50% of the tourists who booked the cabins were foreigners.

Head specialist at Roza Vetrov, in her turn, said that the majority of tourists preferred to get to Sochi by plane. A great number of flights are scheduled to take place during the Olympics.

“We did not reserve blocks of seats, so we sell tickets from the booking system,” she said. “The cheapest ones are already sold out, and only the expensive ones remain, the price of which is 3-4 times higher than of those sold at the earlier stages of booking. For instance, if you want to fly coach via Aeroflot to the closing of the Olympics, it will set you back 100 thousand rubles ($2,870) for a round-trip flight. You can find cheaper tickets, but the departure times will be inconvenient.”

Sochi company ‘RosYugKurort’ reports that there are still vacant rooms in small hotels and guest houses that are removed from the Olympic facilities. For instance, in Lazarevsky District you will be charged at least 4,300 rubles ($123) per person.

The company’s manager said that special lanes were set up for the public and Olympic transport, which is why it takes sportsmen, officials and fans little time to get to the sports facilities. Train ‘Lastochka’ (‘Swallow’) connects Sochi and Krasnaya Polyana, the trip takes half an hour.

The visitors of the Olympics can pass the time between competitions in a new amusement park ‘Sochi Park’, which was opened on February 8 in the Imeretinsky Valley, in the immediate vicinity of the main Olympic facilities. The entrance to the park is free.

The decorations of Sochi Park heavily rely on the themes of Russian folklore. You will get the opportunity to go on the classic merry-go-rounds ‘Samotsvety’ (‘Gemstones’), ‘Karusely skazok’ (‘Fairy-tale carousels’) and try the rides ‘Moydodyr’, ‘Letuchiy korabl’ (‘Flying ship’) and ‘Barmaley’, all of which are themed as their namesake cartoons and fairytales. The rides were made by the Italian company Antonio Zamperla S.P.A.

Guests of the Olympics will be able to see 20 shows in the park. A special 350-seat restaurant theater was built for gastronomic presentations.

A unique food distribution system has been put in place for those who are looking to have a snack. The system includes 12 variants of street-food distribution.

Aside from the usual foods like hamburgers, hot dogs, fries and pizzas, the park’s visitors will be able to partake of some unusual delicacies that have never before been used as street food in Russia. These include Mexican tacos and Swiss raclette. A chocolate street food was created especially for children – two meter-and-a-half fountains of white and dark chocolate. The park’s administration also did not overlook the Russian cuisine.

Страны, регионы и города: Russia
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