Growth in demand for holidays in Russia, even despite the difficult economic situation in recent years, is fixed by experts in the tourism market. The Zavidovo resort in the Tver region does not slow down its development: in a few years they are ready to receive up to 1 million tourists a year.
Large-scale construction: Zavidovo resort will grow with new facilities
“In the East they say that a long journey begins with the first step, which is the most difficult. I've been waiting for this moment for 8 long years. For a long time we have been engaged in conceptual design work, comprehension, approval of loans, collateral. And the fact that we have started the implementation of the project is a colossal event for us, ”says Konstantin Zabrodin, head of the Zavidovo resort, speaking about the large-scale construction of new hotels in the resort. The resort has been actively developing since 2008, growing with new projects. Taking into account the sharp increase in demand for recreation in the field of domestic tourism, Zavidovo has chosen a very right direction: it has created opportunities for accommodation and recreation for tourists of different budget categories and with different requests, the offer is trying to outstrip demand and at the same time skillfully manage the interest of potential guests. As a result, every year the resort has more and more regular customers who come here to relax all the time. At the same time, the demand for such a comfortable, high-quality holiday within the country is growing, and Zavidovo fully meets these requirements.
Now the construction of a Mercure 4 * hotel with 300 rooms has begun here, a three-star hotel with 640 rooms, a three-star apart-hotel with 440 rooms will also appear. The possibilities of the resort will be expanded by a multifunctional congress center. Another large-scale project is a family recreation center with a water park. All facilities will appear along the horseshoe embankment, thereby logically completing the infrastructural landscape of the territory.
New hotels, which will be put into operation by 2024-2025, will be added to the existing accommodation options: this is the Radisson Resort, Zavidovo, the club hotel “Zavidovo” in the golf club, the complex “Yamskaya Sloboda” with camping houses and the cozy hotel “Yamskaya”, the rooms of the Zavidovo Spa village.
Thus, the resort will cover the needs of vacationers of different incomes, and most importantly, it will increase the capacity, it will be up to 4,000 beds. According to Konstantin Zabrodin, this is the figure that gives any resort the opportunity to develop as a ready-made self-sufficient system.
“We also started building a children's recreation park: it will be an open space, a large variety of playgrounds and sports grounds, tracks for bicycles, skateboards, play areas for young children,” said Konstantin Zabrodin. The resort will also have a ski slope – in winter it will be possible to ride tubing or master skiing.
As Konstantin Zabrodin notes, everything worked out thanks to common efforts. The construction is carried out with the involvement of a credit line from VEB.RF. At the same time, the Zavidovo resort received a loan from VEB.RF at a preferential loan rate subsidized by the Federal Tourism Agency, and this is also a big support. “VEB fulfills its obligations in full. This is our strategic partner. Together with VEB, we built the Radisson Hotel, an apart-hotel, all Rosa Khutor projects. VEB as a tool and institution for development is very important for us, notes Konstantin Zabrodin. – For the bank, the situation is also difficult, because the project of a suburban hotel complex of such a gigantic scale is a new story, no one has done it in Russia before us. There are no analogues. Therefore, it is difficult to calculate the business model. The previous year and even a year and a half was devoted to design and estimate documentation, this is more than 150,000 square meters of hotel rooms, restaurants, and so on – this is a large amount of design, expert, and estimate work. We managed to fulfill our design obligations by the end of 2021, the documentation was ready, passed the examination, and in December a building permit was received. Today, we have already fully provided this gigantic facility with electricity. To put together this puzzle, and these are not 100, but 1000 pieces, a long, painstaking and hard work is needed.”
The management of Zavidovo looks positively at the prospect of the project implementation. “It will be possible to exhale when the construction site rolls itself. And the first months are needed for contractors to learn how to work with each other, to provide all technical and accounting documents on time, so that everything develops at the right pace. The situation should move from the friction stage to the sliding stage, speaking in the language of physics,” says Konstantin Zabrodin.
Convenient formats and interesting leisure: what determines the choice of a tourist?
< p>In Zavidovo, they notice the interest of guests in accommodation of different classes. Despite the overall high cost of accommodation in the resort, there are more affordable options, and they are chosen by clients with different incomes.
Another hotel will appear in Yamskaya Sloboda, this time a larger one – for 100-150 beds, it is supposed that it will have a pool with an outdoor part located under the open sky. “I am a big opponent of retrofitting, when a historic building is taken and they try to make something out of it. It doesn’t work out, says Konstantin Zabrodin. – At the same time, a significant part of the hotels does not reach the economically justified minimum. A hotel with 20 rooms does not work well, with 100 rooms it works better. Size matters”. As the head of the resort notes, such a hotel as “Yamskaya” pays off in 7 years, although it also depends on how to manage, a large hotel – in 10 years. “But if one day you built it, it will no longer be in the red, it still gives a flow, even taking into account depreciation. Hotels abroad, for example, are building pension funds, because these are predictable costs, and hotels do not depreciate. These are objects that are needed at any time,” notes Konstantin Zabrodin. Indeed, all Zavidovo hotels have found their clientele, there is no downtime. And this is predictable: firstly, already from the first year of the pandemic, due to isolation, the tourist went to Russian vacation spots, and secondly, Zavidovo has always attracted people due to its advantages. If there is a decent product in the Moscow region, it is sure to be sold, Zabrodin emphasizes.
The camping area will also expand – in 2023, another 20 new houses will appear here. This format of recreation – inexpensive, and at the same time close to nature – is popular not only among families with children, but also among discerning customers: sometimes a person wants to retire, change luxury for a simple relaxing holiday. Lovers of comfort are also offered rooms in other hotels of the resort. “We will be making a lot of comfortable hotel rooms in the near future on the territory of the resort, so if someone needs amenities, he can settle in such a room,” notes Konstantin Zabrodin. – At the same time, from the point of view of the general ideology, the scale and quality of consumption will now be generally reduced. The ratio between money spent and services will be more strictly observed. So camping houses will always be in demand. And they have their own advantages. “First of all, this is a unique offer in the resort. For 5,000 rubles, a family with children can live in a house, plus 1,000 for food – an offer that even families with an average income cannot refuse, explains Konstantin Zabrodin. “These houses also look like little toys. And comfortable: you can not heat them all winter, and when you need to turn on the heating, and it will warm up quickly, in 2 hours.”
Another step of the resort towards attracting more tourists: they decided to introduce the all-inclusive format here. For overseas tours, this is a popular option because it is convenient. Now it will be possible to book a room with full meals included (including alcoholic drinks) at Yamskie hotels. This is another advantage that will attract guests here. According to Konstantin Zabrodin, rooms in Russian hotels that have such offers sell better.
Speaking about the development of domestic tourism, one can notice that a tourist chooses a vacation that could compete with foreign counterparts. Both quality and comfort are important, while convenience and a variety of activities. In this sense, Zavidovo is an ideal option, there is everything that everyone will like. For relaxation – the possibilities of the Crystal Spa at the Radisson Resort, Zavidovo, or a sauna holiday in the Zavidovo Spa village, there is also a sauna on the campsite. In winter, you can try ice fishing on the pond, go skiing in the Yamskoy forest (moreover, the ski track is prepared professionally, with the help of a special machine). In summer, walks along forest paths are popular – on foot or by bicycle, water activities (walks on yachts and boats), vacationers are happy to visit the Aquatoria Leta wake park. The resort has sports grounds for playing volleyball, football, basketball, tennis, as well as sports equipment rental. Finally, beginners and professionals alike will appreciate the golf course certified by the world's oldest Professional Golfers' Association of Great Britain and Ireland (PGA).
There will be more innovation. Analyzing the requests of the guests, Zavidovo decided to make an outdoor pool – it will be built (in the form of a separate reservoir) into the lake. Another bathhouse will appear in the campsite – bathing holidays are in great demand, and this is a fast-paying story. Another lake will also be made here, with a beach area. A deer farm will appear, and squirrels and rabbits have been settled in the well-maintained forest of the resort, and this pleasantly pleases both children and adults. On the territory of Yamskaya Sloboda, a Traveling Palace will be built, as well as a restaurant-cheese factory – here guests can not only taste cheeses and see the manufacturing process, but also purchase organic meat and dairy products of the Ugleche Pole brand, it is produced by the AgriVolga agricultural holding in Yaroslavskaya area.
Zavidovo is also investing in the equipment of the beach on the river, there will be sports and children's recreation areas, comfortable pavilions, a first-aid post, shops.
And in the fall, the first ship will call at the port, which is being built near the resort since 2020. The new transport hub is a flagship project for the Tver region. This unique facility will combine the possibilities of water, rail and road transport (the railway will also come here). And this is another advantage of recreation in Zavidovo – transport accessibility is important today for vacationers. Just 1.5 hours from Moscow – and you are on vacation.
According to the management of Zavidovo, the port will triple the number of tourists at the resort. After all, passengers of motor ships will also be accepted here. In Zavidovo, they are already considering the need to increase food outlets and zones of various activities in advance. And for the guests of the resort, the port will become the starting point for traveling along the Volga – you can go on an excursion to Tver or Dubna, or just take a river walk.
A million tourists a year is not the limit
Konstantin Zabrodin notes that Rostourism has made great efforts for a powerful leap in the development of domestic tourism in Russia. The national project “Tourism and Hospitality Industry” and the Tourism.rf corporation, created to promote this state program, also had a serious impact on the industry. The system of stimulating tourism development in the form of the Tourist Cashback program also helped the sector, in particular, had a good impact on the medium and budget segment of recreation. Finally, the abolition of VAT for the hotel business, as well as preferential lending systems for tour operators, is an important support. “I would like to say a big thank you to Zarina Doguzova, the head of Rostourism, and in general to thank Rostourism for being active in developing tourism in the country. I would like to wish the agency success in this important matter,” said Konstantin Zabrodin.
This year, Zavidovo expects the occupancy rate of its hotels to be at the level of 2021, without reducing the figures (in particular, in the Yamskiye hotels, the occupancy reached 45 percent, in the Radisson – 55 percent), but the task is to strive for more. At the same time, when the hotels under construction so far start working at full capacity, and the resort will acquire its completeness, Zavidovo will receive up to 1 million tourists a year. And this is not the limit, Konstantin Zabrodin is convinced. And guests are always welcome here. “2021 was an unusual year: people rushed to rest after self-isolation in 2020,” sums up Konstantin Zabrodin. – Now the borders are half closed, tickets are expensive, holidays abroad are also expensive. And, perhaps, people will go to Russian resorts even more. At the same time, I think it’s more correct for our Russian money to remain here in Russia.”
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