St. Petersburg Wins Third Tourism Oscar
The City on the Neva competed in the category with the recognised global centres of tourism: London, Rome, Venice, Paris, New York, Sydney, Rio de Janeiro, Beijing and Quito. This year, St. Petersburg was visited by more than 8.5 million tourists, and next year, the Venice of the North plans to welcome one million more visitors. Andrey Matsarin, General Director of the St. Petersburg Congress and Exhibition Bureau under the Committee for Development of Tourism, attended the Grand Final Gala Ceremony 2018 as a representative from St. Petersburg. The head of the Congress Bureau received the prize presented by WTA founder Graham Cook, and thanked the organisers of the prize for their professionalism and hard work, which has made the World Travel Awards into a symbol of the tourism industry over the past 25 years.
The World Travel Awards is a recognised international quality standard in the tourism industry. The award was founded in 1993 in London. Annually, the winning cities serve as models for other cities and become the pride and joy of their regions. The WTA is presented every year to winners in all categories after thousands of tourists and specialists in the industry vote for a particular candidate.
The winners are selected by a professional jury and the general public in several stages based on many criteria, such as service quality, guest satisfaction, developed infrastructure, safety, etc. This is not the first time St. Petersburg has won the WTA. World Travel Awards 2018, a European prize, announced its winners in the summer. St. Petersburg led in two categories: Europe's Leading Cruise Destination and Europe’s Leading Cultural City Destination. In the former category St. Petersburg competed with Amsterdam, Athens, Bodrum and Cannes; and in the latter - with Barcelona, Paris, London, Florence, Venice and Vienna.
St. Petersburg was represented in three categories of the prestigious award in 2018:
– Europe's Leading City Destination 2018. This is the third year in a row that St. Petersburg has received this award; in 2017, the city received this honor twice: on the European stage, and on the world stage in the finals, having received the award as World's Leading City Destination 2017.
– Europe's Leading City Break Destination 2018. This award is presented to destinations popular among weekend and holiday travelers.
– Europe's Leading Cruise Destination 2018. Other awards received by St. Petersburg at WTA include World’s Leading Cultural City Destination 2016 and Europe's Leading Destination 2015.