Murmansk Region appeals to adventurous Italian tourists

The Murmansk Region intends to attract adventurous Italian tourists to the region. As a Rosbalt correspondent reports, this was announced by Governor of the Murmansk Region Yuri Yevdokimov in Milan. 'It is a very interesting business for our region as the Kola peninsula is the only place in Russia and perhaps the only place in the world which still has torrential rivers and still boasts shoals of Atlantic salmon.

Italian tourists will also be offered the chance to travel to the North Pole onboard a nuclear ice-breaker. This form of tourism is in high demand among foreign tourists, the governor said. Depending on the class of the cabin and other conditions a 10-day cruise costs around USD 17-22 thousand dollars. 'This is useful income for the Murmansk shipping company and the nuclear ice-breaker fleet,' Mr Yevdokimov stressed.

A festival devoted to the North-West Federal District of Russia is currently being held in Italy. Representatives of the Murmansk Region intend to negotiate with Italian shipping companies about shipping coal and they are also planning to reach an agreement with representatives of the Palermo fishing industry about a mutually profitable trade in fish.

The governor also mentioned that one of the most promising regional projects involves the delivery of energy resources to Europe. 42% of all Russian gas reserves and 12% of oil reserves are located in the coastal areas of the region. In 2003 the region exported 5.5 million tonnes of oil and this figure is expected to rise to USD 12 million in the near future. Mr Yevdokimov called on Italian businessmen to take a more active role in providing Russia with environmental support. 'The Murmansk is hoping to receive substantial investment from Italy for using, processing and storing radioactive nuclear waste. There is much of this in the Murmansk Region,' he said.

The governor is hopeful that the presentation of the North-West Federal District will bring greater trade between Italy and the Murmansk Region as trade with Italy currently only accounts for 1% of the region's total trade turnover with other countries.

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