Federal Tourism Agency: Russian Arctic to accommodate up to 50,000 tourists
Deputy Head of the Federal Tourism Agency Nikolai Korolyov told TASS news agency that Franz Joseph Land and the Russian settlements on Svalbard Archipelago will soon be able to accommodate up to 50,000 tourists from cruise ships a year.
"Svalbard's Norwegian settlements are visited by 80,000 tourists a year. We can well hope to see 40,000-50,000 tourists in our settlements in the foreseeable future," he said.
Korolyov said to achieve this goal it is necessary to create favorable conditions for cruise routes from Svalbard to Franz Joseph Land and back.
"In the past, cruise ships had to leave Svalbard and go to our ports — Arkhangelsk and Murmansk. They had to cover several thousand kilometers each way. Only after visiting these ports could they go to Franz Joseph Land. Naturally, such cruises were not economically attractive," Korolyov explained.
Today tourists can go through passport control on Franz Joseph Land. Russians can receive a visa at the general consulate on Svalbard. Now cruise liners from Barentsburg sail directly to Franz Joseph Land.