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Tourism is the key factor of human presence in the Arctic region. The number of tourist visits has been growing extensively since the end of XX century. The Arctic region is not regarded only as prospective region for oil and gas industry but now it is also recognized as the region with high potential for tourism development. The research is dedicated to the assessment of the spatial distribution of human presence within the Arctic region on the basis of statistical analysis of population and tourist visits in different parts of the Arctic. Taking into account the uncertainty of regional Arctic borders definition, which are commonly determined in accordance with given purposes and tasks, we assessed the population and tourist visits for the Arctic Zone of the Russian Federation as administrative union as well as for the Arctic region as physic-geographical region.

The growing number of tourists in the Arctic region influences future development prospects of the region. In 2017 the Arctic region with population of 4.3 million people was visited by 10.2 million tourist. While the favorable environmental conditions of Arctic ecosystems exist, the Arctic region should be considered as the source of nature resources for tourism and various recreational activities. Modern technologies enable the development of travel industry in the region, and therefore the industrial paradigm of “conquer” and “utilization” should be replaced with the axiological paradigm of “Arctic beauty” and recreational resource value.

About the Authors

Yuriy N. Golubchikov
Lomonosov Moscow State University
Russian Federation

Faculty of Geography


Victor I. Kruzhalin
Lomonosov Moscow State University
Russian Federation

Faculty of Geography


Aleksandra D. Nikanorova
Lomonosov Moscow State University
Russian Federation

Faculty of Geography



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ISSN 2071-9388 (Print)
ISSN 2542-1565 (Online)