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'Siberia is the best place for tourism in the world' - says Kremlin

By 0 and 0 and 0
02 February 2014


'Siberia is the best place for tourism in the world'. Pictures of stunning nature of Yamal peninsula and its people, here and on the front page: Sergey Anisimov

Deputy culture minister Alla Manilova - in charge of tourism - hopes the Sochi Winter Olympics, starting on 7 February, will act as an impetus for tourism across Russia. In an interview with the London-based The Daily Telegraph she seemed to take aback her interviewer Adrian Bridge by suggesting he should visit Siberia. 

'You have to be a little bit careful when a member of the government of Vladimir Putin says she wants to send you to Siberia - particularly when the woman in question looks as though she won't take 'nyet' for an answer,' he wrote. 'Her name is Alla Manilova and she is Russia's deputy minister of culture and the person charged with the daunting task of turning Russia into a country we want to visit. Her slightly worrying suggestion comes during the course of a lively exchange during her recent stay in London to promote the current Britain-Russia Year of Culture'.

The writer states: 'Russia remains a sleeping giant when it comes to tourism, a faraway, forbidding country still frequently perceived through the prism of Cold War antagonisms. Beyond Moscow, St Petersburg and the Trans-Siberian railway, Russia barely features on the radar of most British visitors, something that, given its immense size and diversity, is curious'.

Russian minister wants to send Brits on vacation to 'magical' Siberia to make them 'feel 10 years younger'.

Russian minister wants to send Brits on vacation to 'magical' Siberia to make them 'feel 10 years younger'.

Russian minister wants to send Brits on vacation to 'magical' Siberia to make them 'feel 10 years younger'.

Russian minister wants to send Brits on vacation to 'magical' Siberia to make them 'feel 10 years younger'.

Russian minister wants to send Brits on vacation to 'magical' Siberia to make them 'feel 10 years younger'.

A bit of sunrises and sunsets over Siberia, anyone? Yergaki National Park, Krasnoyarsk region. Pictures: Alexander Ermolitsky

Manilova told him that President Vladimir Putin has targeted tourism as a growth area and the vast potential for holiday-makers will soon become more apparent. 'We have never properly promoted tourism or let people know just what Russia has to offer,' she admitted.  'There has been an information vacuum, but that is going to change. The president has given us the goal of developing this segment. We are going to make this country tourist-friendly.'

So, he asked, where in Russia should he go? 'Siberia!' she says, without hesitation.

'Siberia is the best place for tourism in the world. There are sacred Shaman sites on Lake Baikal from which visitors return feeling 10 years younger. It is magical'.

She also recommended the diamond-rich Sakha Republic - traditionally known as Yakutia - for 'those seeking adventure of a more extreme kind', reported The Daily Telegraph. This is a place 'where temperatures in the winter fall to minus 72C, where people somehow survive - and where, for sure, there isn't a Starbucks in sight'.

Manilova - from St Petersburg - also highlighted the delights of the Altai Mountains - 'a beautiful place with wonderfully clean air and almost untouched by civilisation. 'Here you can travel by kayak along crystal-clear freshwater rivers that flow straight from the mountains. This is virgin nature.'

The writer concluded: 'Manilova is at her best when she goes off script (and off piste), and speaks straight from the famous Russian heart. There's a passion and purity in her voice that piques my interest. 'Note to self: put Siberia on the list.'

And to whet the appetite of anyone seeking their first trip to Siberia, please see out pictures from Lake Baikal, the Sakha Republic and the Altai Mountains. Should you travel this way, please let us know your impressions of tourism in Siberia at

Comments (9)

We definitely want to see this place,we travelled eastern Europe last year and we thoroughly enjoyed it, even this is very far place for us, Im sure, it's worth going.Impressive, just by looking @ it.
Mila Lees, Adelaide,Australia
17/02/2014 16:10
Send them to Russia to make them "feel 10 years yonger."...Are you aware of the fact, that the life span in this region is being reduced every year as a result of deterior ecological conditions? Maybe only Altai Mountains can justify this statement and make Siberia one of the most attractive destinations among foreign tourists.
Olga, Novosibirsk
13/02/2014 14:36
The Walrus of the Sea is more mighty than the dog!
11/02/2014 10:45
How beautiful is Russia; can an old fool ask this question?
10/02/2014 23:13
03/02/2014 03:24
I'm a tourist guide and welcome to foreigners to come in our Siberia :) One thing is good, now there are better hotels including some famous Western brands which was not before here. Like Marriott and Hilton in different cities in Siberia. It makes the foreigners feel more comfy than used to be.
Daniil, Omsk
02/02/2014 12:55
Magical pictures....they do whet my appetite!
Tom Johnson, Singapore
02/02/2014 12:51
Can someone tell this Minister that you'll be ten years older before you travel....waiting for a Russian visa with all the red tape. I know, I know, the Brits are as bad. It's time for more travel in both directions by ordinary folks rather than oligarchs and oil workers....then we'll get rid of the outmoded stereotypes on both sides. Anyway, I've been to Siberia before and Ms Manilova is correct; if you haven't been there, do try to go.
Jenny, London
02/02/2014 12:49
"10 years younger after a visit to Siberia "! Hmm strong claims;however,I do know that the pictures are only too true ,and yet they don't do this "Garden of Eden' called Siberia justice .

There are not enough pages ,there are no authors ,there is no such photography that can relate to you the pristine exquisite beauty of this region, The Altai mountain region with its many glittering lakes it huge diversity of bird life must be seen to believe.

To all those that want to be memorised ,drugged ,hallucinated, by sheer undeniable beauty start saving your roubles now ,pack your hiking bags and go and experience God's greatest creation .

Time will be your only nemesis ,because it never waits for any of us ,so practice those most sincere Russian words -----До свидания Сибирь, (Good bye Siberia ) whilst muttering under you breath the famous American idiom." I'll be back "

Patrick .
Patrick Travers, Perth Australia
02/02/2014 09:30

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