Tourism and recreation
Valentina Matviyenko
© RIA Novosti. Ramil Sitdikov

Upper house speaker urges expansion of Arctic tourism

Federation Council Speaker Valentina Matviyenko has proposed adopting a special program to develop tourism in the Russian Arctic.

"The government has approved a program to develop inbound tourism. It says little about the Arctic, of course. I believe there should be a separate program, because even this year, the number of visitors to Russian Arctic National Park has increased by 70 percent," she was quoted by Interfax as saying.

Russians show great interest in the Arctic but not everyone can afford to visit the region, she said. In addition to high priced tours, the issue of developing tourist infrastructure looms large. Arctic tourism should be reflected in a draft law on the Arctic that is pending.

"The state should definitely provide some incentives to attract people to the region and we should consider a sub-program for the development of inbound tourism in the Arctic," she said.