Tourism and recreation
Marina Kovtun: Rundown infrastructure is slowing the development of tourism in polar regions
© RIA Novosti. Vladimir Astapkovich

Marina Kovtun: Rundown infrastructure is slowing the development of tourism in polar regions

Murmansk Region Governor Marina Kovtun estimated that tourist and other facilities in the region are declining in quality by about 28 to 43 percent, which is hurting the development of tourism, RIA Novosti reports from a meeting on regional tourism.

She said tourism contributes 8 percent to the gross regional product. The region is developing alpine, ethnographic, industrial and extreme tourism and sport fishing.

Kovtun believes that to develop tourism the region needs to carry out a lot of modernization and construction of tourist-oriented and other facilities. "We've seen considerable wear and tear, we estimate it between 28 and 43 percent for the main hotels, service and cultural locations, restaurants and cafes, and transport, all of which is having a bad effect on tourism. Lack of infrastructure is the main obstacle to tourism development in the region," she said.

Kovtun said the region is proceeding with the Arctic Harbor project as part of the 100th anniversary of Murmansk celebrations. The new cruise ship pier opened in January 2015. Now they are upgrading the marine passenger terminal building. The project will allow Murmansk to have a full-scale international ship terminal that will increase the number of calls by foreign cruise ships to 70 a year.