Sergei Sergeyev said five rescue teams and a helicopter were involved in the ongoing search operation for the group in the Republic of Adygea, whose capital is about 1,000 miles south of Moscow.
The tourists, a group from central Russian city of Yaroslavl, set out on a hiking expedition May 1 but never reported back.
Sergeyev said rescuers had found a group's temporary camp on the river Belaya.
The group left the southern resort of Sochi May 1 to travel along the Belaya to the regional capital, Maikop, where it was scheduled to take plane for Yaroslavl. The search started May 17 after relatives reported that the group had failed to arrive as planned.