Scenery for guests, survival for locals: Tourism and recreation in Norilsk Region

Lead Author Elena, Guk
Institution Contact Department of Regional Policy and Political Geography, Institute of Earth Sciences, Saint Petersburg State University; 10-ya liniya V.O. 33-35, room 80, 199034 Saint Petersburg, Russian Federation
Co-Authors Dr. Tatiana Isachenko, Prof. Dr. Dmitrii Sevastianov; both - Department of Regional Studies and International Tourism, Institute of Earth Sciences, Saint Petersburg State University
Theme Theme 5: New Markets for the Arctic, including Trade, Tourism and Transportation
Session Name 5.1 Arctic Tourism Futures
Datetime Thu, Sep 15, 2016 01:40 PM - 02:00 PM
Presentation Type Oral
Abstract text In 20th century, many new industrial areas had been developed in the Arctic. One of the largest Soviet mining plants was supported by planning of Norilsk, and now it’s the second most populated city in the Arctic, estimated as one of the most polluted settlements in the world. Remoteness of the area in combination with hazardous climate and industry caused emergence and development of specific tourism and recreational practice around Norilsk.
Field research has identified different forms of outdoor recreational activities and facilities in Norilsk Region. It has been found that tourism and recreation market in the region can be divided into two segments. The first is «mass-market»: recreational camps, holiday homes and activities in more or less polluted area near Norilsk – designed for and used by locals. The second is «elite», aimed mainly at non-local tourists – visiting Putorana Plateau. The UNESCO world heritage site, Putorana is attractive tourist destination in Norilsk Region, which, however, majority of Norilsk residents cannot afford to visit due to travel costs and limited accessibility.
Transport connection of Norilsk with other regions of Russia remains strong travel limiting factor due to insufficient capacity and expensiveness. Consequently, incoming tourism is rare and local tourism and recreation is on demand in Norilsk Region, although the quality of environment, both natural and built, degrades with proximity of the certain recreational area to Norilsk Nickel plants. Outdoor recreational practice remains an essential part of everyday life and determinant of well-being of Norilsk inhabitants, not only due to its importance for healthcare but also because of underdevelopment of urban environment.
The further discussion is aimed at possible ways of sustainable development of Norilsk: how to balance quality of healthcare and free time of locals, regional economic development (including tourism) and quality of natural and built environment in the region.