MURMANSK, November 15. /TASS/. Norway’s Hurtigruten tourism operator began offering cruises to Franz Josef Land, which will call at the Murmansk port, the Murmansk Region’s Governor Marina Kovtun told the Murmansk International Business Week on Wednesday.
"The Hurtigruten Company is selling 15-day expeditions for 2019," the governor said. "The cruises will begin from Tromso, and then tourists will travel to Murmansk, Franz Josef Land, back to Murmansk, then to Skarsvag to return to Tromso."
According to the governor, Murmansk has participated in The Arctic Harbor project, under which the port has organized an up-to-date passenger terminal with a 72-hours’ visa-free regime for cruises and ferries. The new conditions are attractive for tourists, she added.
"This cooperation should be extended," she continued. "First of all, it should involve the Cruise Northern Norway & Svalbard Company and the Association of Arctic Expedition Cruise Operators."
The governor pointed to the tourism sphere’s big potential. "Noteworthy, this sphere has the so-called multiplicative effect, where all companies taking tourists to all the destinations, regardless of the borders, enjoy benefits," she said. "Rather unlimited is the potential for cooperation in making tourist networks in the Barents Region, especially now that we see the rapidly growing interest from Asian clients."
The regional government said earlier, they register an annual 20% growth of visiting tourists. In 2017, more than 330,000 came to the region.
The Murmansk International Business Week is an annual forum, which is a key business event in the Murmansk Region and a major platform for the Barents / Euro-Arctic Region. The forum attracts about 3,000 participants from more than 20 Russian regions and from about a dozen countries.