Vladivostok, centre of Primorye, the Russian Far East, is hosting a conference to discuss the development of tourism in Primorye.
The chairman of the tourism committee in the local administration, Valery Sonin, reported that more than 173,000 foreign tourists from 54 countries, or 11,000 people more than in 2000, visited Primorye in 2001.
Despite the fact that some 130 holiday camps, tourist bases and rest homes are open in Primorye, the weak infrastructure is one of the most topical problems of tourism in the territory, Sonin said. That's why the territory's rich natural potential - the unique Ussuri taiga, warm bays, islands, caves, mountain rivers and lakes -- is not effectively used.
According to the estimates of World Wild Life Fund experts, environmentally friendly tourism, the "quiet" video and photo shooting in the taiga may become the most attractive and profitable item of the territorial budget.
The Fund has already started to issue grants for the implementation of a programme of international environmentally friendly tourism in Primorye.