Published on : Thursday, October 15, 2020
For Arctic tourism, not all is dark at the horizon in the middle of COVID.
Murmansk, the largest city above the Arctic Circle, witnesses a rising number of tourists from Russia coming to the north to witness edge-of-the-world experiences which can be found on the Barents Sea coast of the Kola Peninsula.
“Active winter entertainment, Northern Light, the beauty of the Rybachy (fishermen) Peninsula, the village of Teriberka, it all attract domestic tourists to discover the Russian north,” tells Sergey Arzumanov, owner of the Arctic Travel Guides company.
He says the way local public support programs in Murmansk has helped the businesses in tourism to stay alive and adapt to the new reality.
“Tourism support and development programs are successfully implemented through projects for small- and medium size businesses, the Russian export centre and the centre for cluster development of the Murmansk region,” Arzymanov elaborates. “You can get funding and support for the development and promotion of your business, find partners and participate in various events.”
In spite of global crisis in travel, Sergey Arzymanov is quite hopeful and believe more and more travelers will come to the north when planning for future destinations.
“When you have been working in tourism for many years, you are ready and able to withstand a variety of challenges. In terms of tourism, the Murmansk region will develop. Unique natural and geographical advantages, with proper support and development from the authorities, will allow restoring the tourist flow in a short time.”
So far, the pandemic has costed Russia $7 billion to Russia in lost tourism receipts. Recently, Andrey Ignatyev, president of Russian Tourism Union has said to Interfax. By the end of 2020, Ignatyev expects losses to hit $8 to 9 billion, for the most due to lack of income from foreign visitors.