So what we see now stories have moved to websites, I hope the technology will continue to develop. And for now I offer you to check out our first story.

It looks pretty cool on the smartphone, so I guess mobile versions of websites will definitely use this feature in the future.

Our second and third story.


Development of tourism in the Far East

Travel to the Far East and the Russian North is becoming a fashionable and popular trend, but only a fraction of the potential of these destinations has been used.

A survey was conducted among travelers to evaluate locations in the Far East and the Arctic in terms of tourist appeal.

Over the past five years traveling to the Far East and the Russian North has become a fashionable and popular trend. And although last year the share of tourist flow of the Far East and the Arctic was 11.8% of the total tourist flow of Russia, for many residents of our country are still undeveloped areas. The first reaction that such travel is associated with is that you have to be a very wealthy person to afford such a trip. And this is perhaps the most important factor that holds tourists back when choosing this destination.   

Before the pandemic, the tourist flow in the Far East and the Arctic grew steadily by 5-7% a year. Confident optimism in the development of tourism and hospitality industry in these territories showed the growth of tour operators in the regions by an average of 15% per year and an increase in the number of CSR.  

Against the background of the COVID-19 pandemic impact on the tourism industry and the reduction of the total flow of domestic tourists in Russia in 2020 by 35%, the Far East as a whole lost 76% of tourists, some of the flow of which were traditionally foreigners and business tourists, while the reduction of the tourist flow to the Arctic looks less dramatic – 29% in relation to 2019. 

At the same time, we noticed that the reduction of tourist flow in the macro-region was not homogeneous, and with the overall reduction, some regions, on the contrary, managed to increase the tourist flow and attract new tourists during the tourist season. Thus, 34% of our respondents among the industry players, operating mainly in Kamchatka Krai, Sakhalin Oblast and the Republic of Buryatia, noted an increase in tourist flow, which was ensured by the outflow of tourists from other traditional tourist destinations and expansion of the target audience, including due to travelers choosing more expensive tours. As a result, regions with an established well-known brand of the territory won.  

At the same time, infrastructure shortages and underdevelopment did not allow the tourism potential of other regions to be fully realized, which led to a significant reduction in tourist traffic during the season of opportunity, and insufficient awareness of domestic travel destinations for the Far East and the Arctic hindered the expansion of the potential target audience (more than 33% of respondents noted a lack of awareness of domestic travel destinations).

The main factor in the tourist appeal of the Far East and Arctic regions is the incredibly beautiful nature. Tourists also note unique opportunities for photo tours to famous locations, interesting cultural attractions, and opportunities for active and extreme recreation, such as the northern lights, gray whales, and a reindeer herders’ campsite, The northern lights, gray whales, a herd of reindeer herders, the protected sites of the Lena Pillars and the vast expanses of the Putorana Plateau, taiga and petroglyphs, jeep tours to active volcanoes, heli-skiing, ski resorts, trophy fishing, hot springs, gastro tours and much more – this is all about the Far East and the inimitable Arctic. 

At the same time, the demand for events in the region is trending. Respondents showed interest in distinctive ethnic holidays. However, respondents noted that the lack of events on a regional and international scale does not create a good reason to consider the area as an interesting alternative to traditional destinations. 

There is also a high demand for cruise tourism. Cruises are considered by tourists as a convenient, comfortable and at the same time non-standard format of travel, allowing to get an unusual experience and have time to visit and be inspired by history and distinctive culture and nature of several locations. 

As for the tour itself, most respondents answered that they prefer to choose a standard package to the Far East and the Arctic, since the underdevelopment of transport infrastructure and roadside service, the lack of clear navigation and communication, and the remoteness and inaccessibility of the sites make it difficult to organize a trip independently. 

Most tourists pay between 21,000 and 100,000 rubles per person for a trip to the Far East and the Arctic. At the same time, the Far East is a more expensive destination: 22% of respondents spent more than 100 thousand rubles for a trip to the Far East, and the cost of 33% of respondents who visited the Arctic, on the contrary, was about 20 thousand rubles. 

On the whole, in order to change the Far East and Arctic tourist services market and maintain the interest of Russian tourists in these destinations when the borders open, it is necessary to pay attention to the areas that require development.  

Translated from Russian.



Walking around at fall

City is getting ready for snow cover.

Trip Report

5 day trip to Barguzin Valley

This trip takes to the beginning of the Barguzin river. In the very wild Russian taiga, in the depth of Republic of Buryatia, there are hot water mineral waters that heal people. Nature has been preserved very well here.

Map of the Trip


Trip Report

1 Day Trip to Barguzin Valley

All day trip starting and finishing in Ust-Barguzin settlement. As it was mentioned in the previous post, all best trips to the East side of Lake Baikal start in Ust-Barguzin.

This trip takes to the valley of Barguzin river, it is one of the major sources of water to Lake Baikal. There are many villages and settlements along the way.

Barguzin settlement is worth of mentioning. It used to be a city long time ago in the 19th century and had a very deep connection to Irkutsk city. Even the logo of Barguzin is almost the same as the logo of Irkutsk. The same tiger.

The tour goes along the Barguzin mountain range on the left side and Barguzin river on the right side.

Barguzin is an ancient name, probably the name of some local people who used to live here. So there is Barguzin bay, Barguzin river, Barguzin settlement and Ust-Barguzin settlement, and all this around and inside of Barguzin valley. Ust means “ustye” in Russian (устье) which means the end of the river, the place where the river connect to the lake, the outfall of the river. That is why many places in russian have “Ust” in the beginning of the name, check the location of this place and you will see that it is right in the end of the river.

Trip Report

Trip to Holy Nose Peninsula from Ust-Barguzin

The best travelling to Lake Baikal from the East side of Lake Baikal starts in Ust-Barguzin settlement. It is under 300 km form Ulan-Ude city, on the way about one half of the distance road goes along the shore of the lake.

Road from Ulan-Ude to Ust-Barguzin

The Holy Nose peninsula is a big mountain island connected to the main land by a flat piece of land. Olkhon Island and Holy Nose belong to one system of mountains and is called Academic mountain range, part of which is under the water.

Holy Noze Peninsula Lake Baikal

Our trip was in the end of June. There was very little amount of other travelers. During July and August this place is very popular and you can see few people camping. But also we have met footprints of a bear on one sand beach near campers.

Bear's footprints


Map of the trip


What’s Next

About the same way we will go next time. But our aim will be Ushkan islands where it is possible to observe seals of Lake Baikal in their most favorite place. It is another trip to the third smallest part of Academic mountain range that is above the water.

Lots of rocks are made like beds above the water and seals love to get some sun and summer warmth on those huge rocks.

Virtual Excursions

Virtual Excursion to Ust-Barguzin

I found this great video online, that gives a great image of the Ust-Barguzin settlement on the eastern shore of Lake Baikal. No words, just kind or getting around the settlement itself and also it shows a traditional day trip to the bays.

If you plan to travel to this location, this is absolutely what you will love to watch before, and even after the trip.

Thanks to this channel about travelling, called valpard, where I found this item. Maybe there are some other videos about other places well done like this short-film about Ust-Barguzin.