The business meeting was attended by Elena Aseeva, First Deputy Chairman of the Committee for Arctic Affairs, Nadezhda Petrova, Deputy CEO of the St. Petersburg state budgetary institution "City Tourist Information Bureau ", representatives of tour operators working with the Arctic travel direction, as well as employees of Arctic museums of the Northern Capital.
It is to be recalled that St. Petersburg is one of the regions important for the development of Arctic tourism. Thus, the city is the starting point of the interregional historical, cultural and tourist project "Silver Necklace of Russia", which forms a single tourist and recreational system of 11 regions of the North-Western Federal District of Russia, including such regions of the Arctic zone of the Russian Federation as Arkhangelsk, Murmansk regions, the Republic of Karelia and Komi, Nenets Autonomous Okrug.
The meeting took place within the framework of the project "Creation of a modern complex of competitive Arctic tourism products with the participation of St. Petersburg and the regions of the Arctic zone of the Russian Federation", implemented by the Committee for Arctic Affairs of St. Petersburg. The project was developed in 2020. It includes a set of measures aimed at positioning the Northern capital as a center through which tourist routes of the Arctic direction pass.
According to Nadezhda Petrova, the purpose of this meeting was to establish a dialogue for further interaction with participants of the travel industry market on the creation and implementation of joint tourism products of the Arctic regions.
“St. Petersburg, in terms of its geographical location, is a unique starting point, a kind of travel hub, a place where all trips to the Russian North start and end. Thanks to this, our city can combine all sorts of regional excursion routes and tourist products, link them together, positioning itself as a key partner and player in Arctic tourism. The development of this travel direction will emphasize the role of St. Petersburg as a world-class all-season tourist destination, will diversify tourist flows, attract additional guests to the city in the winter season,” said Nadezhda Petrova.
As Elena Aseeva said, the action plan of the project "Creation of a modern complex of competitive Arctic tourism products with the participation of St. Petersburg and the regions of the Arctic zone of the Russian Federation" is calculated until 2023. "The Arctic St. Petersburg" guide, which includes more than 60 city points that are in some way connected with the Arctic has already been published.
“The implementation of the project will make St. Petersburg a national center of competence for Arctic tourism, increase the tourist flow from St. Petersburg to the Arctic regions of our country, and also attract travelers interested in the Arctic topic to the city,” said Elena Aseeva. “The current pandemic situation, which has resulted in the closure of borders, makes it possible to activate internal routes in the Arctic direction.”
During the meeting, representatives of tour operators and museums shared their views on the formation of Arctic routes. Among them are not only the development of infrastructure and transport accessibility, but also the active popularization of northern travel, information and online promotion. The latter will allow creating virtual routes to hard-to-reach points. Personnel training is also important, since the North is a destination of special responsibility in terms of ecology and safety.
On September 18, St. Petersburg hosted the First International Arctic Media Congress within the framework of the Accessible Arctic Forum. This important strategic event, organized by the Federal Agency for Tourism (Rostourism), was aimed at the comprehensive development of the regions of the Arctic zone of Russia. Its main goal was to create a unified international communication platform to promote the unique tourist potential of the Russian Arctic, attract additional tourist flows and investments in the Arctic, taking into account the best world practices.
The head of the Federal Agency for Tourism Zarina Doguzova and Chairman of the Committee for Tourism Development of St. Petersburg Sergey Korneev took part in the events of the Forum. The media congress became the starting point for the activities of the Federal Agency for Tourism in the framework of Russia’s chairmanship in this organization. Rostourism proposes by the end of 2020 to develop a Concept for the development of tourism in the Arctic zone of the Russian Federation with an action plan (roadmap) as part of the implementation of the Strategy for the development of tourism in the Russian Federation for the period up to 2035. In particular, it proposes active marketing promotion of the Arctic region, the establishment of an international day of Arctic tourism on March 22, as well as the creation of national standards in the field of tourism in the Russian Federation.