Russia - Arkhangelsk Region
The northern areas are becoming more and more attractive and popular among tourists who had enough of hot climate of the southern countries and are eager to explore the sights of the North. The world's attention to the northern territories and close to the Arctic territories creates favorable conditions for effective positioning of the Barents Region and for increasing the tourist flow to the North. Positive political image of the Barents Region in a global context, its 20-year history of success, and the best examples of good neighborliness also provide the foundations for sustainable development in all areas of cooperation and have a positive impact on the development of tourism in the region. Taking into consideration that in the near future the interest to the North will grow steadily, geographic and political concept of the “Barents Region” could become an efficient and relevant umbrella brand for the promotion of regional tourist destinations. In this context it is reasonable to study in detail foreign countries experience in establishing inter-regional brands (for example, the countries of the Balkan region.)
The idea itself of creating a single brand in the Barents Region is interesting and promising. However, the stage of creating such brand must be preceded by implementation of a whole set of measures for collection of information and analysis of the current situation in the field of tourism in the Barents Region; awareness-raising campaigns; study of geographical, ethnic and cultural identity in the context of tourism development; identification of potential areas for development; implementation market research and finding funds for the realization of the concept (see also Action Point Cooperation).
The Arkhangelsk Region respondents state that the Barents Region is attractive due to its nature potential, virgin forests, ecological safety, close proximity to the Arctic, possibilities of developing sports and extreme tourism. They state that in the near future the interest in the Region will grow sustainably. There is a need in fostering cultural, pilgrim and scientific tours. The Arkhangelsk Region cooperation should be developed with the neighbouring regions (for example, Republic of Karelia, Komi Republic, Murmansk and Vologda Regions, Nenets Autonomous Okrug, Leningrad Region) and with the strategic countries of Europe and Barents Region. However, key challenges of tourism development in the Barents Region are to be taken into consideration, among them: relatively high tour prices (an average Russian tourist from the Barents Region is more likely to travel to Turkey or Egypt. Tours to Scandinavian countries are for wealthy people, tours to the Arctic are for exceptionally rich), need for overseas tourists to seek permission for entering the border zones (for the Arctic tourism), lack of knowledge about offering services at the international level.