Arctic Yearbook 2014 - Page 370

370 Arctic Yearbook 2014 initiate policies is typical for resource communities (Tynkkynen 2007: 865). Moreover, Mamedov thought that the Russian Lapland project lacked economic realism for its implementation. He was personally against the project because he did not believe in its success (Sivonen 2012). Mamedov (personal communication, June 18, 2012) emphasized that Revda was a resource producer and that an alternative development path would be unlikely to succeed. In turn, V. Gorbunov (personal communication, June 19, 2012) pointed out that the way of thinking of Revda’s residents is an obstacle to the development of tourism because they have been used to a different development path based on the mining industry. In addition, the Minister of Economic Development of the Murmansk region Elena Tikhonova pointed out that the locals in Revda view the future of their community as being based on LGOK’s operations instead of tourism (Sivonen 2012). To conclude, the lack of realism in Revda’s tourist development plan can also be explained by the lack of local ideas and initiative, as the main impulse came from the federal and regional authorities. The role of the resource community was simply to carry out the instructions of the state. There was never any real drive or enthusiasm to promote self-generated local sustainability. The case of the Russian Lapland plan also reveals an important feature of Russian regional policies. The Russian Lapland project was originally part of the tourist development plans of Kirovsk and was also included in the KIPMM Kirovsk (2010: 51–52) and in the regional tourist development plan of the Murmansk region (Popova, personal communication, June 9, 2012). However, the regional government targeted the development of tourism infrastructure under the concept of Russian Lapland in Revda as a priority because the rescuing of Revda became one of the priorities of the regional government in 2009. As Revda had been selected as a federal priority, it ideally should have been a model example of successful planning to diversify a struggling single-industry community. Given that this was a ‘Potemkin project’ which was supposedly to fulfill instructions handed down by the state, the regional administration of the Murmansk region was also ready to sacrifice the long-term sustainability of regional tourism and the comparatively better prospects for tourism in Kirovsk, which already had a relatively prosperous local tourist industry, to serve and fulfill the needs of the federal programme. Revda and the regional administration marketed Russian Lapland as a unique tourism attraction of Revda (KIPMMGP Revda 2010: 5). However, from the point of view of the total numbers of tourists to the Murmansk region this would have had a sum negative result because Revda was less likely to attract tourists than Kirovsk. However, as the Russian Lapland project in Revda has collapsed, this might be to Kirovsk’s advantage, allowing it once again to try to promote the Russian Lapland brand. In so far as the failure of the Russian Lapland project in Revda does not adversely affect the development of the Russian Lapland brand in Kirovsk, the failure of Revda’s Russian Lapland plan may prove to be a positive development for a sustainable tourist industry in the Murmansk region as a whole. Moreover, Revda’s Russian Lapland was the kind of ‘showy project’ that is typical of projects in resource peripheries (Schmallegger & Carson 2010: 207). However, in this ‘showy project’ it was the regional administration and the community which, in trying to create an alternative staple and carrying out the instructions of the federal authorities, ended up with a Potemkin village. The failure of the Russian Lapland project shows the resource path and its influence on local attitudes in the community