Russia to develop international standards for Arctic tourism | Polarjournal
Cruise and expedition tourism is also to be significantly expanded in Russia’s Far East. This means that significantly more tourists would travel to Chukotka and Wrangel Island in the future. Photo: Dr. Michael Wenger

Arctic regions are becoming increasingly popular as a travel destination, and no longer just among particularly adventurous tourists. The most frequently visited destinations include Svalbard and Greenland. Visitor numbers in the Russian Arctic, on the other hand, are far lower – a fact that Russia wants to change.

A strategy paper published by the government of the Russian Federation back in 2019 indicates that tourism across Russia will be expanded by 2035. Among other things, the government sees expedition tourism, especially in the Arctic, and the expansion of cruises in Russia’s Far East as very promising areas. The development of cruise tourism on rivers as well as on the Black and Caspian Seas and the Baltic Sea is also considered desirable. But the focus is not only on the expansion of cruises, but especially on the development of ecotourism, because the World Tourism Organization considers Russia to be the most promising territory for ecological travel.
The new offers are intended to attract international tourists in particular.

According to the strategy paper, the concrete objectives include “doubling the cruise tourism market by 2035” while creating the “necessary conditions for intensive fleet renewal by cruise operators” and the required infrastructure.

The intention to make the expansion of tourism in Russia sustainable and to develop ecotourism offers is very welcome. Foto: Heiner Kubny

Against this background, Rosturism, the Federal Tourism Agency of Russia, plans to develop international standards for tourism in the Arctic for the first time, as reported by the TASS news agency.

“We all know that in the Arctic zone there are no standards and no system of standard classification especially in the international field. Here is an opportunity for Russia to take such an initiative and for the first time to develop and approve standards in the field of tourism and safety in the Arctic zone,” said Tatyana Menshikova, Head of the Department of State Tourism Projects and Tourist Safety in Rosturism at an expanded meeting on the development of physical culture, sports and tourism in the Arctic regions of Russia in Norilsk.
National standards for tourism in the Arctic, aimed at sustainable development of the northern regions, have already been drawn up by Rosturism.

Russia appears to be directly leveraging its current chairmanship of the Arctic Council with this push.

Julia Hager, PolarJournal

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