Russia will introduce standards for Arctic tourism | Polarjournal
Arctic circle near Egvekinot — Already back in 2007 first groups from Switzerland traveled to Chukotka, in the Russian far east. Due to the lack of infrastructure, it was not always easy to carry out the tours. Visitors were compensated by the untouched and fascinating nature. (Photo: Heiner Kubny)

Rostourism and Rosstandart are planning a set of national standards to improve tourism in the Arctic. Rostourism believes this will help make travel safer and improve the quality of tourism services in Russia’s Arctic regions. The standards will take effect on June 30.

Walruses in Franz Josef Land. The new standards will contribute to the protection of flora and fauna and will channel tourism to more uniform standards. (Photo: Heiner Kubny)

The standards take into account the complex climatic and natural conditions in the Arctic and the resulting risks. They also contain recommendations for the organization of excursion programs and tourist routes in the Arctic and requirements for the qualification of people working with tourists. New standards for tourist infrastructure, transport and equipment will also apply. It includes how communications should be established during the trip, including emergency responders and residents. This was reported by Rostourism in early February.

The plan is to standardize the navigation system for Arctic tourists. Specifically, it prescribes what information signs should look like, as well as signs warning tourists of dangers, difficulties along the way and the proximity of evacuation points. The system will also include requirements for restriction signs.

Anton Shalaev, head of Rosstandart, and Zarina Doguzova, head of Rostourism, decide to introduce new standards for tourism in the Russian Arctic. (Photo: Rostourism)

Zarina Doguzova, the head of Rostourism, says of the standards: “Arctic tourism is incredibly diverse and promising. But we must not forget that this is a region with its own cultural and historical features and a harsh and changeable climate. In addition, this is an area of wild nature, there are many protected areas. We took all this into account when we created national standards for Arctic tourism. They create uniform and clear rules of the game for business and safe and comfortable travel conditions for tourists.”

Expeditions with icebreakers from the Russian port city of Murmansk to the North Pole have been offered for over 20 years. (Image: Heiner Kubny)

“Standards are increasingly used to support national projects and strategic goals. Thanks to this tool, models of success are also transferred into new practices, or approaches. The adoption of a new set of standards in the field of Arctic tourism will help strengthen the position of the Russian Federation in the Arctic, as well as the implementation of priority tasks in the development of tourism,” said Anton Shalaev, head of Rosstandart.

Heiner Kubny, PolarJournal

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