By Nikolay Aliferov
The capital is expecting around 20,000 visitors in May 2014, so the Organising Committee for Championship Preparation and Conduct recently met to discuss how best to ensure their comfort, chaired by the Prime Minister of Belarus, Mikhail Myasnikovich. Guests and players alike need to be accommodated and catered for with care.
Already, a number of hotels are being built across the city, including a new ‘three star’ hotel, sleeping 100, in Internatsionalnaya Street. The President Hotel and Hotel Polet are being modernised while a new hotel is to open at the High Technologies Park. “At the meeting, we finally decided that investors won’t invest money in this project so we must build it ourselves,” admitted Minsk Mayor Nikolai Ladutko. “We’ll build hotels similar to those in the Tsentralny, Leninsky and Oktyabrsky districts of Minsk, with the architecture matching that of the HTP.”
Student dormitories will also be available to hockey fans, while several children’s camps and resorts will also be specially prepared to accommodate guests on a budget. “We’re working hard to prepare guest accommodation by the end of next year,” notes Mr. Ladutko. “Transportation, security and the cultural programme are also being discussed.”
A huge advertising campaign is to be launched to enrol volunteers to help with the Championship. Already, it has been decided that students from the Belarusian State Linguistic University are to help at hotels while staff engaged in public catering and transport may receive language lessons.
Mr. Ladutko notes, “Our goal is to invite people to Minsk. The investments are large, so we must gain maximum return.”
Mr. Myasnikovich believes that public feedback is vital, explaining, “Minsk City Executive Committee and the Ministry of Sports need to hear the opinions of taxi drivers, restaurant owners and others with vested interests; how can they organise everything to ensure maximum comfort for residents and visitors?”