YUZHNO-SAKHALINSK, November 15. /TASS/. Nine cruise ships belonging to the Princess Cruises and Costa Cruises companies will visit the port of Korsakov on the Sakhalin island in 2017, head of the regional agency for tourism development Natalya Osipova told TASS on Tuesday.
“In 2016, eight cruise ships carrying 15,000 tourists visited the Sakhalin region, which is three ships more than in 2015 (10,523 tourists). In 2017, nine large and mid-sized cruise ships are expected to visit Sakhalin,” she said. Cruise ships began visiting the port of Korsakov in 2013. In 2014, a total of 19 cruise ships stopped by and 23,300 tourists were provided with various services.
According to Osipova, one of the factors holding back the development of the cruise industry in the region is that the existing infrastructure at the port of Korsakov can only serve ships off-shore. A modern checkpoint needs to be set up so that at least 2,500-3,000 tourists could pass through border control daily.
Besides that, there are few tourist facilities on the island, not enough souvenir merchandise, and the local cuisine is not properly promoted. “We have been working to tackle all these issues in the near future,” Osipova stressed.