May 12

By Steven Brooks

Indigenous peoples are actively involved in the development of tourism in Kamchatka, the Far East and the Arctic.

As part of «The Beringia» holiday, Kamchatka hosted «The Far East — Winter of Discovery» Business Forum, which was attended by representatives of all regions of the Far East, as well as Moscow. Issues of tourism development in Kamchatka, the Far East and the Arctic were discussed.

Speaking at the forum, Governor of the Kamchatka Territory Vladimir Solodov called on the inhabitants of Kamchatka to take part in the competition for grants from the Presidential Fund for Cultural Initiatives, primarily for the indigenous peoples of the North. Now several such projects are successfully implemented. Among them – “Creation of an animated series based on fairy tales in the languages of the indigenous peoples of Kamchatka”; “The source of age-old wisdom” – about the folklore of the Koryaks; “Tundra Melodies” is about indigenous music.

One of the main topics of the competition is the prospects for the development of ethno-cultural tourism in Kamchatka. Galina Kravchenko, Chairman of «Friendship of Northerners», the Kamchatka Youth Public Organization of Indigenous Minority Peoples of the North, made the keynote speech.

Presentations of the interactive yaranga, the winter dwelling of the indigenous peoples of the North, took place at the forum. The exposition was designed and installed thanks to funds received from the Presidential Fund for Cultural Initiatives. During the preparation of the exposition, a lot of work was done. To preserve the traditions of indigenous peoples, songs, dances, fairy tales and stories about the life of the peoples inhabiting Kamchatka were recorded. They were presented in the yaranga in the form of holograms.

“The Fund for Cultural Initiatives really allows us to preserve and perpetuate cultural traditions, to convey them to the widest possible range of people. We really appreciate this support and hope that in the future such projects will be developed and replicated in Kamchatka and other regions of the Far East,” Vladimir Solodov, Governor of the Kamchatka Territory said.

The topic of gastronomic tourism aroused great interest. For two days, the chefs of Kamchatka restaurants held gastronomic master classes, during which they introduced the peculiarities of the national cuisine to the forum participants.

It was reported at the forum that a master plan for tourism development of the territories would be developed for five municipalities of Kamchatka. We discussed how businesses would take the master plan into account in their plans and how to build their projects into it in the future. It is also necessary for investors and authorities. This applies primarily to the Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky and Koryaksky districts, where indigenous peoples live.

The possibilities of event and popular science tourism, cruise tourism, the organization of “green” routes, interregional and domestic air transportation were also discussed at the forum. At the same time, two most important circumstances – the maintenance of the traditions and culture of the indigenous peoples and the preservation of the unique nature of Kamchatka were taken into account.