The Ministry of Development of the Russian Far East and the Arctic is developing new measures to encourage people to live and work in the Arctic. It is also planned to promote tourism in the area. A modern incentive system must be created in line with the market economy.
“Today, this system of guarantees and compensation does not achieve the intended purpose of getting people to work in the North. It is important to point out that we are not abolishing the existing system. This is a very sensitive piece of social history. This guarantee system has been in place for more than 50 years and we will not abolish it or revise it. But we need to create a modern system of incentives that is in line with the market economy to keep the people there,” said Alexander Krutikov, Deputy Minister for the Development of the Russian Far East and the Arctic.
He added that the existing system of guarantees and compensation for people living and working in the polar regions was created in the 1960s. At the time, this system allowed workers in the Arctic to earn two to three times more than the average, which acted as a strong incentive and encouraged people to go north.
According to Krutikov, new incentives are primarily being offered to people working in the Arctic and to their family members. The Ministry considers it important to offer them advantages in various areas, from housing to education and personal development. Separate incentives are being developed for retired people in the Arctic. Krutikov noted that this decision will help to retain qualified professionals in the North.
Tourism brings jobs
It also aims to promote tourism in the Arctic and to simplify entry requirements. “The world’s population must be given the opportunity to see the rare beauty of the Arctic,” Aleksandr Krutikov stresses. In addition to social contacts, this also brings jobs to the Arctic region.
The senior state official sees a tripling of the number of tourists visiting the region over the next 15 years. Krutikov stressed in an online conference in early June that tourism is a top priority for Russia’s major investments in the Arctic and that its own Arctic tourism strategy is in the pipeline.
According to Krutikov, tourism in the region cannot be increased ten times due to the possible negative effects on Arctic nature. But a three-way increase is sustainable, he argues. By 2035, up to 3 million tourists will visit the region each year, the ministry representative said at the conference. This also has a positive impact on the local population.
Heiner Kubny, PolarJournal