Business in Sochi
Dr Naveen Rao, CEO Sentro Group, finds the resort city of Sochi, Russia, apt for the meetings industry
I saw the lovely side of resort city Sochi during a Fam trip in May 2016. Best known for being the destination for Winter Olympics 2014, it is surrounded by mountains on three sides and the black sea is on the north coast, making it the second longest city in the world after Mexico City. A river runs through and the 50,000 acres of forests give it one of the purest environment.
During my earlier visit in 2006, the city was undergoing a facelift. As the preparations for the Winter Olympics 2014 were in full swing, Mr. Vladimir Putin’s government was creating the best to showcase to the world. Between the private community and the government, around US$800 billion were spent on building up the infrastructure.
Business goes on
Since then, the city has become a tourist’s delight. Three exotic mountain resorts were developed in many hectares of land. These luxurious places were connected with 22 mountain ropeways. With the rise in infrastructure for Olympics, a large number of four and five star properties were also constructed in Sochi. These serve the MICE communitywith approximately up to 40,000 rooms and have ballrooms as big as 4,000 square feet, catering to a whooping 1,000 people in a single event.
If one is staying in a mountain resort they can enjoy a ropeway ride free of charge all day. The 20-minute ride is peace inducing and soothing as one is surrounded by the greenery of the mountains. Gazing at the huge, sky touching trees makes it euphoric.
Love for sports
Sochi is also a sports lovers’ paradise. Sochi Olympic Park is also a major attraction as it was the venue for the opening and closing ceremonies of the Winter Olympics. Sochi also has a good Formula 1 track where you can enjoy a taxi race ride like never before and leave with a mind-blowing experience. The stadium named Fisht has a capacity of over 40,000 people for the Olympics. For FIFA, it can accommodate 47,659 people as FIFA World Cup will be held in 2018.
The Skypark there is well known for daring sports like bungee diving on the world’s longest pedestrian suspension bridge. Bungee diving allows you to free-fall from heights ranging from 69 meters to 207 meters, of course suspended by equipment. It was designed by world renowned entrepreneur A.J. Hackett and attracted huge crowds to Sochi National Park. I am fond of adventurous sports but could not do it on the trip. But there is always a next time. Another popular sport here is skiing as there are many skiing resorts.
Even children can have fun in Kidzania, Disneyland Sochi, Formula 1, circus and other recreational activities. Young travellers will enjoy the nightlife as there are many discos, pubs, casinos and spas to chill out in.
With its proximity to Georgia, Sochi has many places to eat Georgian cuisine, besides Italian, French, and Arabian.
When & How
The world-class airport connects Sochi with the world a well as train stations inside.
When to go
Good weather all year round. During summers, one can enjoy the bliss of a seashore and head to the skiing resorts in the winter.