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St. Petersburg is the capital of business tourism in Russia

On February 25, at the round table “St. Petersburg is the territory of hospitality” within the framework of the XXVII International Women's Conference “East and West meet in St. Petersburg”, experts discussed the tourist image of the Northern capital. The speakers told about the development of service in the hospitality sector, as well as about the key opportunities for the development of the city's potential: the MICE industry, the expansion of transport infrastructure and the opening of new public spaces. Sergey Voronkov, CEO of EF-International Ltd, took part in the event.

Sergey Korneev, Chairman of the St. Petersburg Tourism Committee, opened the event: “Tourism is the best way to know yourself and the space that surrounds us. St. Petersburg, in this case, is an ideal place to get acquainted with the culture and history of our country. 73% of the surveyed guests who came to us last year replied that they would definitely return in the near future. And this is not surprising: there are no “ordinary” theaters and museums in St. Petersburg, our cultural attractions are the best. Kronstadt, which until recently has been considered an almost closed military city, is now a popular place for walking even among locals, and the new park “Island of Forts” is already one of the most favorite.” Sergey also said that over the past 2 years, during the pandemic, the transport infrastructure has been improved. You can get to St. Petersburg from any corner of Russia by almost all available transport. Also, according to the chairman of the Committee, the tourism industry is recovering and reaching the level of 2019, however, so far due to internal flow.

Sergey Voronkov, CEO of EF-International Ltd, the President of the Russian Union of Exhibitions and Fairs, reported on the development of business tourism in St. Petersburg. He emphasized that in order to increase the tourist attractiveness of the destination, separate segments of the sphere should be developed. “Business tourism in Russia is one of the key areas in our country, and the recent decision of the President of the Russian Federation Vladimir Putin to develop new measures to support the congress and exhibition industry, as the most affected by the Covid-19 pandemic, confirms this. St. Petersburg is the congress capital of our country. In 2021, we overtook Moscow for the first time in terms of the number of events and the number of participants, and this year two major projects are planned at the ExpoForum Convention and Exhibition Centre: the World Energy Congress and the International Congress of Mathematicians. Until 2028, Expoforum won 15 more rotating congresses. When the world intellectual and business elite come to Russia, they are convinced that our country is safe, comfortable, technologically advanced, despite all manifestations of Russophobia in the Western media. After the UFI Global Congress, which was attended by 700 industry dignitaries, we conducted a survey according to which 88% considered the event organization to be the best,” said Sergey Voronkov.

In addition, the round table was attended by Olga Sevostyanova, a business development consultant from Slovakia, Marina Morozova, Director of the Department of Graduate and Postgraduate Studies of RANEPA, Irina Jayani, General Director of the Austrian company Progress IV Management GmbH, Viktor Shabalin, Chairman of the St. Petersburg Culinary Association, Natalia Yudina, General Director of the St. Petersburg Agency of Medical Tourism, Abbot Filaret (Pryashnikov), prior of the Staroladozhsky Nikolskiy monastery. Thus, all existing tourism destinations in St. Petersburg were discussed at the conference.

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