Arctic Yearbook 2014
Murmansk Oblast and Yamalo-Nenets autonomous Okrug. Several new extreme types of smallscale tourism opportunities are beginning to emerge that allow even greater accessibility to the
untouched nature. These include yacht excursions, helicopter and airplane flightseeing tours.
Current challenges include on one side the inspiring activities of local entrepreneurs with the
experience and knowledge of the natural surroundings and on the other, border control, the
prevailing nature resource extraction monopolies and overall geopolitical instability in Russia
(Pashkevich 2013; Pashkevich & Stjernstrom 2014). The greatest challenge includes the increasing
pressures on the fragile environment and local infrastructures (water supply and sewage systems),
which are unable to cope with the increasing visitor numbers. It is not a question of mass tourism in
the area, but rather how far and close to the wild nature or indigenous society an individual tourist
wants to come. This close encounter holds the greatest risk for both humans and the environment.
In the complete absence of the system monitoring tourism development impacts, these problems are
not identified and thus not addressed properly. The same ap Y\