PETROZAVODSK, November 24. /TASS/. The Karelian authorities plan to boost package tourist inflow by 2020, so that up to 1,000,000 package tourists visit the Republic annually, Karelia’s Culture Minister Alexei Lesonen told TASS on Thursday. He said that new tourist attractions will be set up in order to reach this goal.
Lesonen noted that in 2015, a total of 720,000 package tourists visited Karelia which is 10% more compared with the previous year.
According to the minister, new tourist attractions have been emerging in the region which can be compared to the Kizhi Island, the Valaam Island and the Solovetsky Islands, and are capable of attracting as many tourists if not more.
In this connection Lesonen mentioned the Ruskeala marble quarries that were in operation for 300 years but recently have been designed to become a regional park. In 2015, over 176,000 tourists visited the park compared to 100,000 in 2014.
New tourist centers and infrastructure are being set up in accordance with the South Karelia tourist cluster and the Belomorsk Petroglyphs tourist cluster projects, included in the Federal target program on the development of domestic and inbound tourism.
The regional culture ministry says that in the past three years the annual private funding to the tourism infrastructure has grown by 53.6%, from 560,000,000 mln rubles (roughly $8.7 mln) to 860,000,000 (roughly $13.3 mln).