Sweet dreams in chums at winter nights and other entertainments of the far north: how to make the arctic accessible to tourist
Complex and expensive transportation schemes, lack of hospitality facilities are the main factors hindering the development of tourism in the Arctic zone of Russia. This was noted by the majority of participants of the International Tourism Forum “Accessible Arctic” which was held in Vorkuta with the support of the Ministry of Culture and the Federal Tourism Agency. More than a hundred experts have taken part in the forum this year. Details are provided by Pavel Razuvaev.
Reindeer Herder Day in Vorkuta is held in the very center of the city turning the central roadway into a reindeer racing circuit. How to make this unique event accessible to tourists of any country?
‘This will happen when we generate this demand for the Arctic, when we create a stir, when people with income higher than average come here actively. Well, with God’s help, I think all this will happen, but not immediately,’ says Valery Korovkin, Managing Director of the International Union of Specially Protected Areas of the Arctic and the Far East.
On Spitsbergen, for example, tourism brings about five billion rubles in revenue per year. The Russian Arctic is also attractive thanks to its uniqueness.
Reindeer Herder Day is a really exclusive touristic attraction which can only be seen in the Far North of Russia. In Vorkuta, it is held in November. And by this time, by the way, a lot of foreigners come to the city. At the moment there are about twenty Slovaks.
From Vorkuta, the Slovak tourists are travelling to Yamal to a reindeer herders’ camp in the Polar Urals. ‘Tomorrow it is going to be minus 30 or minus 35, and we are going to sleep in chums, so we will see how it feels! But we are excited!’ shares Lubosh Felner from Slovakia.
While the restless Slovaks are getting saturated with frosty impressions, the main tasks for the development of tourism above the Arctic Circle have been identified at the forum.
‘The problems are absolutely the same. They include high airfares, lack of roads, certain barriers for a foreign tourist entry,’ says Elvira Timergazina, Director of Yamal-Nenets Department for Youth Policy and Tourism.
The forum hosted the first meeting of the joint working group of the Federal Tourism Agency and the Russian Geographical Society devoted the development of northern tourism. Is Russia going to slightly open the door into the Arctic?