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Tourism on Sakhalin: availability and diversity

Sakhalin is among the trendsetters of tourist fashion

Following the recognized centers of tourism - St. Petersburg, Kaliningrad, Crimea and Krasnodar Territory - this year dozens of other Russian regions have entered the fight for tourists. Many of them have already been able to compete with the grandees, and in addition have set a new trend, making trips to remote places a fashionable movement. Sakhalin has found itself among the trendsetters of tourist fashion largely due to the fact that the region has been working to attract tourist traffic for several years.

Tourism on Sakhalin: availability and diversity
Photo: shutterstock
At the exit from the terminal of the main island airport, Khomutovo, the tourist is welcomed by an advertisement of opportunities for recreation in the Sakhalin Region. The variety of activities on offer is impressive - from skiing in winter to sea cruises in summer. The banner covers the construction site of the new terminal, which looks almost finished - the glazed façade is finished and clearly resembles a wave of the sea. Like a tsunami, it looms over the small, operating airport building, threatening to swallow it completely. This is what should happen when a new terminal opens. It is designed for 550 domestic and 250 international passengers per hour. Its launch will increase passenger traffic five times - up to five million people a year. The region has been working on an ambitious plan for a long time, using all the island's strengths.

Fishing, observation of natural attractions from the water, acquaintance with the marine fauna, cruises of various durations, surfing, kiting, diving, yachting, gastro-tourism - all this is already available on Sakhalin and is rapidly developing. Another advantage that the region intends to use to attract tourists is the compactness of the location of all interesting objects. Most of the attractions are in the well-developed southern part of the island, two hours by car from the regional capital.

Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk, unlike other Far Eastern capitals, has a sufficient number of modern hotels of various categories, the room stock of which will suit any traveler. It is also a gastronomic paradise - authentic Korean and Japanese restaurants with excellent cuisine are found in the center at every corner.

Within the city there is a tourist cluster "Mountain Air", from the observation deck of which you can see an amazing view of the valley in which Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk stands. According to the “Mountain Air” design, with equipped slopes, cable cars and rental chalets, it is a world-class resort, which is confirmed by the holding of serious competitions, for example, the complex hosted athletes from the Children of Asia International Winter Games.

Recently, the Sakhalin Region was a finalist of the All-Russian competition for the creation of tourist and recreational clusters and the development of ecotourism in Russia, which is being held by the Agency for Strategic Initiatives. “Our two applications made it to the final of the competition, now we need to get into the top ten projects in the country,” Governor of the Sakhalin Region Valery Limarenko told reporters. One of the applications - the formation of the Laguna Busse shopping and entertainment complex - involves the creation of infrastructure and the development of the territory of the Tonino-Aniva Peninsula.

“This is a vast area with several popular tourist sites. The necessary tourist infrastructure will be created in this natural park at the expense of the state, which will allow the development of objects of private investors, "said Limarenko. The head of the regional Agency for Tourism Valery Dubrovsky added that the implementation of the announced projects will increase the tourist flow to the region up to 500 thousand people a year.

The tourist and recreational cluster "Laguna Busse" is being created half an hour southeast of Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk. Its goal is to combine compactly located natural attractions and tourist routes throughout the Tonino-Aniva Peninsula, creating a single infrastructure. The territory is small: the length of the peninsula from north to south is 90 km, and the width is 19 km. The formation of the cluster is based on the principles of environmental friendliness, safety, comfort and accessibility of facilities for all tourists, including people with disabilities.

"Busse Lagoon" is more than a dozen striking attractions, including Cape Velikan, Cape Ptichiy, Busse Lagoon, Cape Eustathia, Chaika Bay and Aniva Lighthouse, which are popular with both locals and visiting tourists. The infrastructure of the cluster has already begun to be formed - last year the embankment in the Okhotskoye settlement was improved, on the beach of which there were playgrounds, a promenade along the sea with benches, changing cabins and modern toilets. They were very conveniently installed practically throughout the entire territory of the cluster: in Korsakov, Prigorodny, Ozersky, Novikov.

Soon, the entire Tonino-Aniva Peninsula is expected to change, regardless of whether Sakhalin's applications win the tender or not - this is the principal decision of the regional administration. The plans include the construction of viewing platforms, the improvement of recreation areas and the equipment of eco-trails to all attractions. It is assumed that a world-class natural park with all the necessary attributes will be created on the territory. For example, a modern visitor center will open near Busse Lagoon. There is a potential for the construction of a full-cycle resort hotel with an international operator. It is needed, among other things, in order not to tie the tourist to the infrastructure of Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk, but to allow him to enjoy the unique nature of these places.

The Busse lagoon itself is a unique natural monument. This lake is connected to the ocean, the water in which is not as salty as in the sea and not as fresh as in the river, but ideal for the habitat of oysters, Far Eastern trepang, scallop, sea urchin, shrimp, mussels, as well as several dozen species fish, including salmon, herring and smelt.

It can be easily reached by car or bus. A well-developed road network is already an obvious advantage of the cluster. But to some sights, for example, to Cape Velikan, now you can drive only on specially prepared off-road vehicles. There is a plan for laying roads to them, but it is obvious that they will not appear quickly. Therefore, it has so far been decided to deliver tourists to hard-to-reach places by water. For this, the region intends to purchase a small fleet and build berths.

From the point of view of active recreation, the presence of an airfield of small aircraft and a center for technical sports, equipped with modern technology, looks attractive from the point of view of active recreation. Quad bikes, motorcycles and snowmobiles can be rented here depending on the season.

The Laguna Busse cluster unites six specially protected natural areas of regional importance. Here you can get acquainted with the Red Data Book flora and fauna, as well as see the unique landscapes characteristic only of Sakhalin. By the way, the region is actively working on the problem of waste disposal, including those located on the territory of the cluster.

If Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk is the island's air gate, then Korsakov is the sea gate. The port accepts cruise ships with foreign tourists and should become a starting point for sea excursions along the southern part of Sakhalin. The settlement of Novikovo deserves special attention, the infrastructure of which will also be updated - here the roads end and water routes on small boats begin along the shores of the Tonino-Aniva Peninsula and along the waters of the Aniva Bay.

In recent years, Sakhalin has shown strong economic growth, which is reflected in the development of the region's infrastructure. On the territory of the Sakhalin Region, there is a preferential regime for the free port of Vladivostok - it helps the development of business on the island and should contribute to the development of the tourist cluster "Laguna Busse".
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