ST. PETERSBURG, April 11. /TASS/. More than 5 billion rubles ($77.5 million) will be invested in development of tourism infrastructures in Kamchatka, the Corporation for Kamchatka’s Development’s Director General Nikolai Pegin told an international Arctic forum on Wednesday.
"As of 2018, more than two billion rubles ($31 million) have been invested in Kamchatka’s tourism industry," he said. "The plan is to invest more than five billion rubles in the tourism sector’s infrastructures."
"Kamchatka, like any area in the Far East, has unique conditions to attract investments: advance-development territories, the free port of Vladivostok, the federal budget’s co-financing infrastructure projects, numerous regional and municipal measures of support," he added.
He spoke about two examples in cruise tourism. The first one is the recently opened sea port in downtown Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky. Right next to it develops the Petropavlovsk Harbor tourist-recreation cluster with a yacht port.
"We are about to enter an agreement with an investor on construction of an attractive yacht port, which is attractive already now," he said. "Right as we meet, another yacht on a round-the-globe voyage is in Kamchatka. A French family - Philippe Poupon, a well-known sailor, and his wife Geraldine Danon and their kids. This is the only Russian port, where they will stay for about two weeks and a half. This is not the first yacht, which prefers to call on Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky during its global voyage."
Another project is to build a modern airport complex, which will be ready by 2021. Estimated investments are at almost 8 billion rubles ($124 million), though investors claim necessary 12 billion rubles ($186 million) as they want to have more jet bridges and more available space, which will be used for a business center, a hotel, and a few restaurants.
"The investors use the strategy, which includes not only the infrastructures, but rather tourist attraction facilities," the official continued. "They want to build thermal springs right inside the volcano’s mouth so that tourists wanted not only to visit the place but so that they wanted to stay there."
Gates to the Arctic
He continued by saying Kamchatka had always proven it is and would be the eastern gates to the Arctic zone. Two hubs are growing there now - Novatek’s gas hub and another hub, which will be organized by a company from the Leningrad Region.
The Arctic will develop more dynamically in case two-three regions offer tourist products, in case Russia has air routes, connecting the regions, he said.
Kamchatka as the territory of exit and entrance to the Arctic could be most interesting.
"Last year (2018), Rostourism (Russian tourism authority) organized a poll, where 72% of the surveyed said they wanted to take a cruise along the Northern Sea Route, and 71% said the best region for cruise tourism is Kamchatka," the director general said.
The region is close to the attraction points like Tokyo, Shanghai, Seoul, Vladivostok, Khabarovsk, he added. Tourists could return home from Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky.
"Kamchatka is a unique place - 300 volcanos, 14,000 bears at large," he said. "It is a paradise for hunters. Everything is regulated strictly - scientists calculate every year how many hunting licenses could be sold."
"Kamchatka is the region of 150 thermal springs, more than 400 fish species, unique scenic views," he said. "Thus, every Arctic tour could include Kamchatka."
In 2018, Kamchatka welcomed 12 cruise vessels, the plans for 2019 is 28, for 2030-2033 - about 120 vessels a year.
"With development of the nuclear fleet, cruise tourism could expand the term to nine months a year, and expedition tourism - to seven-eight months a year," he said in conclusion.
About the forum
St. Petersburg hosted the Arctic: Territory of Dialogue International Arctic Forum on April 9-10. ‘The Arctic. The Ocean of Opportunities’ was the forum’s theme in 2019. Roscongress was the official organizer, while TASS was a primary information partner and the official photo hosting provider.