The Russian Far East Kamchatka Peninsula prepares new tourist programs and routes to attract visitors not only during the summer season but also in autumn, the region’s head of the tourism agency Elena Tratonova told TASS.
In 2019, Kamchatka welcomed more than 240,000 tourists (a growth by 26,000 year-on-year). The number of foreign tourists almost doubled to 36,000. The most popular destinations on the Kamchatka Peninsula are the Valley of Geysers and the Nalychevo Nature Park with a chain of volcanoes. Earlier, Russia’s Deputy Prime Minister, the president’s envoy to the Far Eastern Federal District, Yuri Trutnev said the region should boost the competitiveness of its tourism industry.
“We cannot say what the upcoming summer season will be like, and thus we are working on promoting autumn holidays on Kamchatka,” the regional official said. “Jointly with businesses we have launched online expositions to present autumn tours. Autumn is not as popular as summer, but on the peninsula autumn is marvelous, and our operators have good offers for Russians. Trips to Kamchatka cannot be compared with anything else.”
The local authorities explain the upsurge of visitors in 2019 by additional cruise programs. “Almost 20,000 foreigners came here by cruise vessels: 20 cruise ships called on Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky in 2019. This is a record of the last five years,” the official continued.
Presently, the region’s tourism industry faces tough times. Due to the coronavirus pandemic, hotels accommodate only business visitors, and all tourist programs are terminated. Visitors who planned summer holidays on Kamchatka are now canceling their bookings.
“For this year, we have planned to receive at least 28 cruise tours in the Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky port. Companies have prepared new cruise programs, including a unique route in the Arctic zone. But now the cruise season is at risk: we have canceled all spring programs, and our hope now is for programs in autumn. The regional government supports the industry, the current list of incentives is not closed, and the government has been working on additional measures in response to requests from the businesses,” Tratonova said.