This year the tourist season lasted from the end of June to October and brought 912 visitors.
The most popular type of tourism is still marine cruise ships. These vehicles entered the water area of the reserve 6 times in 2018. Passenger ships brought 607 tourists to the most distant protected islands of Russia. The majority of these tourists were from abroad.
In the sector of individual tourism, we see an opposite trend – those who prefer to travel alone or in small groups are usually coming from Russia. “We are happy to see more responsible people. Individual tourists today are more willing to contact us directly and plan their stay on the islands ahead, which is especially important as all the islands of the archipelago and the 30-mile-wide water area are under nature protection regime”, said Deputy Director for Environmental Tourism Julia Pulit. On average individual tourists stay for two weeks for different reasons, including the transportation peculiarities such as flight delays due to weather conditions.
“The season of 2018 is also outstanding due to the first helicopter excursion, which was organized for individual tourists. The first trials showed that it is a positive experience and we should consider development of this type of activity for the Commander Islands”, said Julia Pulit.
Traditionally Into the World of Whales marine excursion is enjoys popularity and now it shares it with Komandor Bay and Severo-Zapadnoye marine mammals rookery after the installment of new infrastructure there. Another popular destination is excursion To the Seabirds Islands: Toporkov Island as a new observation point was created there for everybody to watch tufted puffins or marine parrots, as we call them, within arm reach. We also see that our souvenir shop, which was opened in January 2018 in the visit-center, is well loved as well.
“This year is a breakthrough to our Tourism Department as we earned our first “touristic” million, which is a very good piece of news. Today we realize better what the touristic companies want from us, what are the needs of individual tourists. We were surprised to see that one of the biggest tour operator of Kamchatka region distinguished our work with a letter of appreciation”, said Anastasia Kuznetsova, Director of the Commander Islands Nature and Biosphere Reserve.