The tourist potential of Komi and what issues require urgent solutions for a significant increase in tourist flow to the region were discussed on May 24 at the tourism and investment forum in Moscow. By the way, there are all the prerequisites for its growth: Komi is both stunning natural beauty, and that exotic that Russian tourists so lack in conditions of closed borders.

The region receives on average about 300 thousand tourists a year, or maybe twice as many, journalists were told today. “This year we see a huge interest in nature tourism: for example, walking and water tours – one of our key directions – are completely sold out, there are no places. In winter, all snowmobile tours were worked out in the same way, there were so many tourists that the guides were even tired. We see that interest in the region is growing, so now it is very important to address infrastructure issues, ”said Head of the Department for Coordination of Tourism Activities of the Ministry of Culture, Tourism and Archival Affairs of the Republic Natalya Makarova

Experts confirm: today, increasing the flow to the region is hampered by the fact that every seventh kilometer of the republic is a nature protection zone, where you can neither build hotels nor lay roads. “Capital construction in protected areas is impossible, we need high-quality accommodation facilities, such as glamping sites, eco-hotels, etc.,” Makarova explained. High-quality – for obvious reasons: tourism here is not the cheapest, but travelers are ready to pay money for local natural beauty, for seeing the Manpupuner plateau – a real exotic for which guests from all over Russia come here. Helicopter tours to the plateau are very popular, she said assistant director of the tour operator “Northern Ural” Lyudmila Nechitaylova… The price of such a one-day excursion starts from 40 thousand rubles, there are more capacious and more expensive services. The demand for such tours has grown so much today that they already have to be ordered in advance: upon arrival in the region, travelers may not have enough seats.

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“We do not hide the fact that we have expensive tourism due to geographic and environmental factors, so now we are waiting for investors who are ready to create appropriate conditions for the rest of wealthy people,” Makarova said. She added that before the pandemic, quite a lot of foreigners came to Komi, which also speaks of the prospects for the growth of the region’s tourism potential. Even this year, despite the fact that the borders are still closed, tours to Komi are already being booked by Israelis and Austrians.

At the same time, you can relax in Komi even for little money, representatives of local business are sure. So, for a trip with children, the “Finno-Ugric Ethnopark” is suitable: a tour for two nights and three days (with the opportunity to receive a 20% cashback return) with accommodation, meals and a transfer from Syktyvkar will cost 8 thousand rubles. For residents of Central Russia, the cost increases markedly due to the expensive: for example, for a flight from Moscow to Syktyvkar and back, you will have to pay an average of 9-10 thousand rubles per one, despite the fact that the flight is less than two hours. Thus, tickets for a family of two adults and two children will cost about 40 thousand rubles. However, as told director of the ethnopark Elena Ivanova, they come from 58 Russian regions. And if in 2019 the park was visited by about 24 thousand guests, then this year already 25 thousand are expected here.

Now a tourist cluster is being created in Komi on the basis of a UNESCO World Heritage Site, which includes the territories of the Yugyd Va National Park and the Pechora-Ilych Biosphere Reserve, as well as the territories of Inta, Vuktyl and Troitsko-Pechorsk. The details of the project, which became the finalist of the All-Russian competition for the creation of tourist and recreational clusters and the development of ecotourism in Russia, reported First Deputy Minister of Culture, Tourism and Archival Affairs of the Komi Republic Konstantin Baranov… Today there are already modular houses here, there is a helipad and eco-trails, the world’s first moose farm and a museum of nature have been opened on the territory of the cluster, and an art festival “Hay” is taking place. The cluster includes four development zones: Manpupuner plateau, Lesnaya, Alpine skiing and Zhelannoye. All of them are now waiting for their investors.

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Experts have no doubt that they won’t have to wait long. Last week, Russian President Vladimir Putin quite unambiguously expressed the authorities’ attitude to the development of tourism in protected areas: the head of state was offended by the words Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Chernyshenko, who warned against an increase in tourist flow to the Valley of Geysers in Kamchatka, suggesting that tourists “trample everything there.” The President noted that in other countries there are much more tourists in similar parks, but the ecology does not suffer from this. “Why? Because everything is organized properly. For this, of course, we need to invest the appropriate resources. Calculate and invest in a timely manner, ”he said. Thus, it is clear that the development of such territories in terms of tourism will be at the highest level.

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