The Russian government is planning to launch organised trips to the North Pole. The new route is expected to welcome its first travellers this month. Izvestia Daily reports that the trip, taking adventurous tourists to Earth’s northernmost point via Camp Barneo ice base, will cost €15,000 ($16,500) per person.
Khatanga, a rural region in Krasnoyarsk Krai, will be the tours' entry point. Olga Vasilenko, a local tourism official, noted that travellers would have to spend a few nights living on ice floes.
She said that the price is 30% lower than what foreign tour operators are asking, noting that the Russian Geographical Society has already organized a trial North Pole tour this April and that Infrastructure capable of supporting tourists is currently being developed.
Vasilenko believes that northern – and Arctic tourism in particular – should be developed in a way to attract both domestic and foreign tourists. “For example, currently we have a lot of interest from China. We expect to eventually cater for Europeans as well. North Pole tours partially aim to do that.”
She added that the Krasnoyarsk Krai government also plans to promote gastro-tourism. “We are nudging restaurants towards including more national cuisine in their menu. These dishes are prepared with venison, local fish, wild berries, mushrooms and nuts. Restaurateurs will benefit as their businesses will be included in specialized travel routes,” Vasilenko stated.
In March the Deputy Head of the Federal Tourism Agency, Sergei Korneev talked about the agency’s plans to develop Arctic tourism. He highlighted the islands and archipelagos of the Arctic Ocean as the main attractions of the region.