Khanty-Mansiysk Vies to be New Year’s Capital of Russia in 2015

Alena Donskaya, 24.02.2014 12:03
Просмотров: 5044

During 2013 Khanty–Mansi Autonomous Okrug was visited by 451 thousand tourists, including 15 thousand foreign arrivals. Work is being done in order to gradually increase the tourist flow in the okrug during the coming years. This was said by Evgeny Platonov, Director of the department of natural resources and non-resource economic sector of the okrug, during a round table discussion in St. Petersburg, reports the TRN correspondent.

According to him, travel industry gains more clout within the okrug’s economy each year. For instance, during the past year tourism contributed 9 billion rubles ($255,799,000) to the Gross Regional Product.

“Today there is no one in Yugra who would say that tourism does not have prospects for development in the region. Each territorial unit of the okrug has its own program for developing the sector,” he said.

There are several kinds of tourism being developed in Yugra today: active, ecological, event, rural, ethnographic, industrial, fishing and gastronomic tourism. Platonov paid special attention to the religious tourism, or pilgrimage.

“The number of religious facilities in Yugra is actively growing. In 2012 there were 100, and now there are 152 of them. As a result there is a rise in tourist curiosity, which is why we are thinking of providing complex support for such facilities. We will need to build hotels, cafés and restaurants, and ensure safety,” he added.

Speaking on the possibility of the growth of the foreign tourist flow, the head of the department said that the majority of foreign visitors still come to Yugra for business events. But the okrug sees potential for attracting foreign visitors through event tourism, for instance, with large sports competitions.

Dmitry Kolesnikov, Head of the Travel Companies Association of Yugra, also commented on the potential of the sports tourism in Yugra. According to him, about 400 sports events a year are held in the okrug; a number of measures have been taken to accommodate participants and visitors of these events, for instance, comfortable hotels have been built and service infrastructure has been created.

Another kind of tourism that is slated for further development is balneal tourism. According to Platonov, on the territory of the okrug there are 7 locations with balneal facilities that use underground mineral medicinal waters: Surgut, Kogalym, Nizhnevartovsk, Yugorsk, Uray and Khanty-Mansiysk.

By the way, the okrug’s travel authorities are ready to support roadside services, which, Platonov believes, are not quite on par with the rest of the tourism services in the region.

The capital of Yugra – Khanty-Mansiysk – is hatching its own plans for acquiring the Holy Grail of the Russian tourism. Anna Linker, Director of Municipal state-funded institution “Board for developing tourism and external relations” of Khanty-Mansiysk, said that the town was going to compete for the status of the New Year’s capital of Russia in 2015.

For instance, during these past winter holidays in Khanty-Mansiysk there were a number of special New Year celebrations, attending which was included in short-term travel packages. The travel companies of the town and okrug sold 3,500 travel packages in total during these winter holidays, which sets the number of those who visited the festivities during 2 weeks at about 35 thousand people.

Anna Linker says that, as opposed to the snowless European winter, Khanty-Mansiysk provides wonderful opportunities to practice almost any kind of winter sports. “The total number of tourists who spent their holidays in Khanty-Mansiysk in 2013 was almost 104 thousand tourists,” she said.

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