Mayor of Kazan told about how Kazan has changed on the eve of the World Cup-2015 in an interview with TV channel "Russia".
Ilsur Metshin: Firstly, it is the sports facilities, where the championship takes place. They are unique, and surprise not only the audience, not only tourists but also the athletes, who have seen well enough prepared sports infrastructure around the world. We have a wonderful heritage of the Universiade: Palace of water sports and the main football stadium "Kazan Arena", where we have built the aquatic arena with the training and the main arena – first in the world inside of a football stadium.
The second task we have set ourselves - to create a unique holiday atmosphere. Water World Championship is a holiday primarily for our citizens and, of course, for our guests. Two components: a unique sports facilities and unforgettable atmosphere of the sports holiday are those two objectives that we have set ourselves.
Presenter: If we talk about the heritage of the Universiade that it had left behind...
I.M .: It’s heritage are 14 interchanges, 39 pedestrian crossings, 30 the most modern sports facilities that Kazan and Kazan residents received after Universiade . The results of it were a completely different city and completely reversed ourselves. Touch of provincialism left us. We realized that we can! That we are the same as the people of Turkey, America, Australia, Singapore, Europe. That it is within the range of our abilities! This is probably the most important.
Our young men, athletes, our experts have grown to such a level that they are in demand not only in international sports now. This note that he was a member of the Universiade - no matter a volunteer, a cook at the restaurant or an organizer of passenger traffic of the Universiade - is a serious carte blanche in a professional resume. They are in demand at the Olympics, big forums - our people have advantages over others.
A simple figure: before the winning of our bid to host the Universiade 5 years ago, there were 13% of constantly involved in sports, now this figure is 39%. We have grown 3 times and continue to grow.
P .: Is that for the city?
I.M .: It is only for Kazan. As the mayor of Kazan I am responsible for my territory (smiles). And I'm sure that after the World Cup there will be even greater figure of those who want to swim in the pool, to play sports. And we have raised ourselves the bar, in the near future every second resident of Kazan will play sports on a regular basis.
P .: And if we talk not only about sport ...
I.M .: This is systematic work, and it does not end with the period of preparation for the World Cup or the Universiade. We intend to bring tourism to Kazan to the level of serious branch of municipal services, where demand and supply will be for everyone. It is new jobs, the ability of employment for our young people, an opportunity to attract investment. Therefore, we are very serious about this.
He is a bad soldier who does not dream of becoming a general. Now we are not soldiers, we are officers on the claims at the international level, we are known in the world. Kazan has gained popularity. Today, we are third in Europe and eighth in the world for tourist attraction, for the way of growing of the tourist flow. So I'm sure the time will come and we'll wrestle for summer Olympics and other international events that will show Kazan, Tatarstan and the new Russia to the world.
When we started the program in anticipation of the Universiade in 2007, we were seriously preoccupied by this, invited the best consultants, who had taken out global brands in the tourism market, we had the figure of 460 thousand tourists a year. Last year 2.1 million visited us. I'm sure that the bar of 3 million and 4 million visitors a year is not far away. We expect that 4 billion TV viewers will see the water Mundial for three weeks. Let’s dream that at least 10% of them will want to visit Kazan and Russia in the near future. And it will be a serious figure. Therefore, we are working systematically on it.
Let we have a look at least at our hotel service. We grew at 88 hotels - more than twice during the preparations for the Universiade and the World Cup. We have grown not only in quantity, but qualitatively too. Starting from the entrance and ending with all the floors. Today, the staff of our hotels shows completely different perfect skills, they can host events of any level. We carried the appropriate trainings with them; we invited the world's top experts, who trained the staff of our hotels - from 5-star hotels to hostels. And today we have offers for our visitors for every taste, for every budget, for all requirements.
To talk about the legacy of the World Cup, I wanted to say on example, what it leads us for. During the preparation for the World Cup sports facilities were built, some of them were rebuilt, we have seen the state of our embankments, and the result was a program that we have started to implement this year. I hope and visitors and city people will see how our embankments were updated. The following year is already declared the Year of water areas, and not only in Kazan, but in the whole country. Here will be landscaping of embankments: embankments of lakes, rivers, water areas; parks along them will be renovating. And then water taxis, water restaurants, service sector, all this will give an opportunity not only to relax but also to develop the business.
P.: And it’s great area to develop. The same parking...
I.M .: This is the case when they say there is no end for the work, both for the authorities and for the business. As for short-term plans, in the next 5 years we are going to make Kazan the most comfortable city at the standard of living in the Russian Federation. The most convenient, most comfortable, most secure. And we have everything for that. This is on which we concentrate our work now.
P .: Is it new housing also?
I.M .: This is also a new housing. As well as quality and prices of it. It’s services for the public: health, education, the quantity and quality of kindergartens, sports, cultural institutions, sections, where our children can realize talents that God and parents gave them. That is - that people could not raise questions "Where to live tomorrow?" "Where can I develop?"... It is no secret that today the world has changed, there is a migration, but not everyone wants to go abroad. And thanks God for that. Therefore, we intend to occupy yet empty niche of the most comfortable, the most prosperous city in the Russian Federation. I think that it is within the range of our abilities. I'm sure of this.
Kazan has a special mission. We are the tolerant city where 116 nations and nationalities are living for centuries. This is probably the main challenge in the geopolitical world today. It is our greatest wealth, the most fragile, that is necessary to protect. Therefore, Kazan is an example of tolerance, where just as at the same time in the same territory Orthodox, Catholics, Muslims and Jews live for centuries. And for all Kazan and Tatarstan is a common home.
And another our project is certainly the development of Eurasianism. Kazan historically is on the border between Europe and Asia. As part of the World Cup at the water, we gather 120 mayors from all over Russia and the CIS, far and near abroad, precisely we will discuss the development of Eurasia. Kazan is located at the junction of Europe and Asia, this unique location gives us a special significance and a special status in this large and very important work. Therefore, we intend to take a special status and very serious work in this direction.