#ARCTIC. #SIBERIA. THIS IS TAIMYR. A meeting of the working group on tourism development in winter cities of the World Winter Cities Association for Mayors (WWCAM) has already taken place. The working group is headed by Norilsk. Representatives of Edmonton (Canada), Rovaniemi (Finland), Sapporo (Japan), Ulan Bator (Mongolia) and Shenyang (China) took part in the discussion.
How to make a winter city truly comfortable for locals and tourists is a question that all WWCAM participants ask themselves. Edmonton, Canada, responded with a Winter City Strategy, which it has been successfully implementing for nine years. The document is based on the motto: “Is it cold? It is. Dark? It is. Boring? Never!”.
Sharing their recipes for attracting tourists, participants in the online meeting talked about strong brands – for example, the village of Santa Claus in Rovaniemi, the world’s largest statue of Genghis Khan in Ulan Bator, or the Putorana plateau in Taimyr. They also talked on the stake on the unique cultural heritage and identity of the indigenous population and the formation of a rich event agenda. Thus, Shenyang annually hosts dozens of carnivals, festivals and major sporting events.
For the sustainable development of the tourism industry, a year-round flow of guests is needed. A large gap in summer and winter tourist flows is a challenge for most cities – members of the Association. In Rovaniemi, for example, 2/3 of the tourist flow is in winter. And 80 percent of tourists come to Norilsk or Ulan Bator in summer.
The representatives of the winter cities also spoke about professional training for the tourism industry. Norilsk and Sapporo planned to discuss prospects for cooperation between the Polar State University and Hokkaido University in this area.
The plenary part of the 19th of the World’s Winter Cities Mayors Conference is scheduled for November 16.
WWCAM has existed since 1981 and is called upon to resolve issues related to the activities of winter cities. To date, members of the organization represent cities in Japan, China, USA, Canada, South Korea, Finland, Estonia, Mongolia and Russia.
From the Russian side, the Association includes Magadan, Novosibirsk and Norilsk, which held a working meeting of the association with the participation of delegates from the cities of Japan, Canada, China, Finland, South Korea, Mongolia and Russia. Prospects for cooperation in the development of tourism in Taimyr and construction in the Far North were discussed there. The working meeting was held in Russia for the first time in the history of the association.
In 2023, Norilsk will again host the World’s Winter Cities Mayors Conference.
Text: Ekaterina Maksimova, Photo: Nikolay Shchipko