"Ruskeala" Mining Park Received Bronze in the International World Travel Awards

Фото предоставлено Горным парком "Рускеала"

The results of the World Travel Awards have been summed up. The Russian Geographical Society was supporting the “Ruskeala” Mining Park in Karelia in seeking this award. The park was nominated in the "Europe's Responsible Tourism" category. Now the long-awaited news have come: "Ruskeala" took the honorable third place in this prestigious international competition.

The Russian Geographical Society cordially congratulates the staff of the “Ruskeala” Mining Park on their high achievement!

Deputy Executive Director, Director of the Department of Regional Development of the Russian Geographical Society, Sergey Korlykhanov: "The ‘Ruskeala’ Mining Park is the first object to be recognized by the Society – ‘Recommended by the RGS’. The park is an example of the unprecedented development of a once abandoned territory, an industrial facility. Thanks to the efforts of its director Alexander Borisovich Artemiev and the specialists of the Russian Geographical Society a unique tourist project was created in a few years. The park quickly became a favorite and comfortable place for various festivals, competitions, family and youth recreation. It continues to develop now: a museum is being built, eco-paths are being built, speleotourism is being developed, and scientific research is being conducted. We will continue to support the Mining Park and will remember its founder, who, unfortunately, passed away."

World Travel Awards is a kind of the Oscars in the field of tourism. The award was founded in 1993. It is awarded annually in more than 80 categories: the best hotels, airlines, tour operators, cities, resorts, attractions. During the past year, a vote was being held in support of the “Ruskeala” park. The Russian Geographical Society organized voting support on its website. Our readers, activists, members of the Russian Geographical Society, partners of our projects actively supported the vote for the “Ruskeala” Mining Park.

Voting for the World Travel Awards ended on 24 September. On November 2, the World Travel Awards headquarters in London released their 2020 results. The “Dark Sky Alqueva” Reserve (Portugal and Spain) received the Grand Prix in the category "Europe’s Responsible Tourism". Mining Park "Ruskeala" won an honorable third place. This gives it the opportunity next year to automatically qualify as a World Travel Awards finalist and participate in a new competition in the same category for free.

World Travel Awards Founder Graham Cook congratulated the winners of the prestigious international competition. He noted that the winners of the award represent the very best in the European travel and tourism sector. "All the nominees have demonstrated amazing resilience in a year of unprecedented challenges. The World Travel Awards 2020 received a record number of public votes. This shows that interest in travel and tourism in the world has never been stronger, and it bodes well for the future of the industry when the recovery of the world economy begins," said Graham Cook.

We would like to thank everyone who supported the “Ruskeala” Mining Park with their vote, and we hope that the new seasons of the World Travel Awards will bring Russia new recognition of its merits in the development of responsible tourism.

The “Ruskeala” Mining Park is a tourist complex in the Sortavala region of the Republic of Karelia. It is a monument of nature and the history of mining in Russia, Sweden and Finland. Marble, once mined in this hilly area, was used to decorate St. Isaac's Cathedral, the Winter and Marble Palaces, the Mikhailovsky Castle, and Kazan Cathedral. But by the beginning of the 21st century, after active mining with powerful explosions, the deposit had lost its significance.

Today, the abandoned marble quarry has become one of the most visited tourist attractions in Russia. The park has both surface eco-paths and an underground excursion route created with the participation of speleologists of the Russian Geographical Society. The bowels of the park hide the lake, across which runs the only underground pontoon path in Russia that is about two hundred meters long. The park also has an ethnography and crafts area, a creative space for opera festivals and live music concerts. A special pride of the tourist complex is the Ruskeala Express retro-train, which connected the city of Sortavala with the mountain park.