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Tourism agency: Cruise passengers should be offered new border-crossing stations in Arctic

Cruise tourism is pretty ecology-friendly, which is very important for the Arctic, according to the tourism official
Severnaya Bay of Alexandra Land Island Mikhail Metzel/TASS
Severnaya Bay of Alexandra Land Island
© Mikhail Metzel/TASS

ST. PETERSBURG, December 6. /TASS/. New border-crossing stations on Alexandra Land, Franz Josef Land archipelago, and in Uelen settlement in Chukotka could attract more foreign tourists to the Russian Arctic, deputy head of the Federal Agency for Tourism, Rostourism, Sergei Korneyev told the Arctic: Today and the Future international forum on Thursday.

"<...> It is necessary to open new border-crossing stations in the Arctic regions, which are most attractive for tourists," he said. "These should include [opening] Alexandra Land [the Arkhangelsk Region] for all cruise vessels that call at Franz Josef Land and Severny Island on Novaya Zemlya, as well as at Uelen in Chukotka."

The Uelen settlement is close to Cape Dezhnev, where the Bering Sea meets the Chukchi Sea.

The waters of Severnaya Bay on Alexandra Land are served by the border-crossing point at the Arkhangelsk port. The station now serves only one vessel. "The station is not busy, and private investors are not interested in upgrading it," the official stated.

The Uelen border entry point is outdated both in terms of equipment and the building itself, he added.

Cruise tourism is pretty ecology-friendly, which is very important for the Arctic, he continued.

"Cruise tourism regulates the impact [on the environment]," he said. "A vessel may stop in this or that place, managing the passengers’ logistics — they never go ashore all at a time."

"It [cruise tourism] implies the use of the berth infrastructure and certain routes," he told TASS. "It is a good way to regulate the logistics and [prevent the] damage."

The Arctic: Today and the Future forum is underway in St. Petersburg through December 7. The event features about 2,500 delegates from Russia and 20 countries.