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Participants in the Arctic Tourism Week Interregional Forum, which took place on 9-13 April in Norilsk, discussed the principles of the sustainable development of the tourism industry in the Far North, the impact that the development of the hospitality industry and urban master planning could have on the regions of Russia’s Arctic zone, measures to support entrepreneurs, and new trends in the creation of tourism products. The event, which was held as part of Russia’s chairmanship of the Arctic Council in 2021-2023, was organized by the Ministry for the Development of the Russian Far East and the Arctic, the Norilsk Municipal Administration, and the Norilsk Development Agency. The Roscongress Foundation manages the events of Russia’s chairmanship of the Arctic Council.
Arctic Tourism Week in Norilsk Addresses Sustainable Development of Hospitality Industry in Northern Latitudes
The business and cultural events of Arctic Tourism Week focused on tourism, one of the top priorities and most significant areas of development in accordance with the Development Strategy for the Arctic Zone of the Russian Federation until 2035.
“The Arctic territory has a special legal regime that is constantly being improved. Any investor who comes to the Arctic already has benefits. In addition, we are implementing the Far Eastern and Arctic hectare programmes, which also contribute to the development of tourism. Without question, the event in Norilsk should become one of the milestones that will help move towards the development of Arctic tourism as a measure that contributes to both the development of the economy and boosts the level of people’s patriotism,” State Secretary and Deputy Minister for the Development of the Russian Far East and Arctic Pavel Volkov said.
During the 12 business sessions and discussions held during Arctic Tourism Week, guests and participants discussed ways to attract various kinds of investors to the tourism sector in the northern latitudes, the operation of preferential regimes, and the transformation of infrastructure. In addition, the experts considered both successful examples of tours being organized to the Far North, as well as new trends in creating tourism products: expeditions, viewing the northern lights, reindeer riding, trekking through the untouched natural sites of the North, cruises to the Arctic, and gastronomic trips. In addition, the experts spoke about industrial tourism, in particular, its legal aspects and the benefits of implementing such programmes for the enterprises themselves.
The experts noted that the master planning of territories and the joint work of various organizations in Norilsk has made it possible to enhance the investment appeal of the tourism industry and consolidate the efforts of companies operating in the city. Local entrepreneurs have already invested over RUB 3 billion to create new facilities and modernize existing infrastructure.
During the Forum, an agreement was signed on the creation of a tourist visitor centre in Norilsk – an information platform and a unified system to sell all available tourism products to the city’s guests and residents. They will be able to obtain information about local tourism products, sights, the region’s historical values, as well as upcoming events and sightseeing routes.
Roughly 300 experts from more than 30 organizations took part in Arctic Tourism Week, including representatives of the Ministry for the Development of the Russian Far East and the Arctic, the Russian Ministry of Economic Development, the Russian Ministry of Natural Resources and the Environment, as well as regional and municipal authorities. In addition, the Forum events were attended by specialists from Russian companies that focus on the hospitality industry, including federal and regional tour operators, the heads of service enterprises, urban specialists, and specialized IT companies.
In addition, the exhibition ‘In the Centre of Taimyr’ was held in the run-up to the Forum. It was attended by representatives of the Krasnoyarsk Territory tourism sector, including 16 tour operators and sightseeing tour agencies, as well as souvenir and gastronomic craftsmen. Some 5,000 people viewed the exposition, which various tourism products of the Taimyr Peninsula. The exhibition programme also included sightseeing tours to prominent locations of Norilsk and the city’s enterprises, lectures, and presentations. The exhibition was organized by the Norilsk Development Agency with the support of the Norilsk City Administration, Norilsk Nickel, and the Arena–Norilsk Sports and Entertainment Complex.
Arctic Tourism Week also included a promotional tour for national media members, who visited key sights of Norilsk and Taimyr and production facilities in the region, took a helicopter tour of the Putorana Plateau, and attended a master class on creating their own flavour of Taimyr.
Russia is chairing the Arctic Council in 2021–2023. A cross-cutting priority of the chairmanship is to ensure responsible governance over the sustainable development of the Arctic. The comprehensive programme of Russia’s chairmanship of the Arctic Council aims to promote cooperation to improve the well-being and quality of life of the Arctic population, including the Indigenous peoples of the North, adapt the Arctic to the effects of climate change, conserve the biodiversity and unique ecosystems of the Arctic, ensure socioeconomic development, find solutions in matters concerning global energy and transport security, promote scientific cooperation in high latitudes, and strengthen Arctic cooperation.