Tourism and recreation
Arctic Days in Moscow
© RIA Novosti. Vladimir Trefilov

Up to 7,000 tourists expected to visit Russian Arctic National Park annually in two years

The number of tourists visiting Russian Arctic National Park can increase to 7,000 annually in two years, Arkhangelsk Region Governor Igor Orlov said at a panel discussion of the Arctic Days in Moscow forum entitled "The Arctic: From Reserves to Development."

"We believe the number of tourists [in the park] can increase to 7,000 annually within two years," Orlov said.

The governor said that nearly 1,000 tourists visited the park in 2016. "People from 40 countries have visited the park and admired the beauty of our Arctic region," he said.

This year, nine icebreaker cruises reached the Franz Josef Land, and 10 such cruises are expected next year, the governor said. He explained the increase by the fact that part of the Alexandra Land Island water area has been included in the Arkhangelsk port boundary, which allowed cruise ships from Spitsbergen (Svalbard) to bring tourists to the region without entering Russian ports.

Igor Orlov also said in his remarks that the local government planned to develop air travel to Franz Josef Land in the next year or two. "We are negotiating the joint use of the airport [on the archipelago] with the Defense Ministry," the governor said.