Tourism and recreation
Russian tourists on Spitsbergen grows six-fold in two years
© RIA Novosti. Aleksandr Kovalev

Russian tourists on Spitsbergen grows six-fold in two years

The number of Russian tourists visiting the Spitsbergen (Svalbard) Archipelago in the Barents Sea has tripled in the last year and increased six-fold on 2014, Timofei Rogozhin, head of the Grumant Arctic Tourism Center at the Arcticugol State Trust, said, according to Interfax.

"This has been a very good year for us.  We received 600 Russians, 300 in winter and 300 in summer, who joined long tours lasting from six to eight days. Last year, there were 200 tourists, and in 2014, only 100, which means that tourism has grown six-fold," Mr. Rogozhin said.

Spitsbergen de jure belongs to Norway, but Russia has the right to do business on the archipelago. Tourists may visit Barentsburg and Piramida, two Russian villages on Spitsbergen.

According to Mr. Rogozhin, all in all, the Arctic Tourism Center served about 30,000 tourists in 2016.