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Vice President of ExpoForum-International Elected Ambassador of St. Petersburg

On December 14, the Congress and Exhibition Bureau of St. Petersburg held the final event of the year, the Annual Forum of Congress and Exhibition Activities. The main topic of the event was the appearance of special St. Petersburg envoys, who will now represent the city on the world arena and attract tourists to the city.

The event was attended by 150 specialists, including representatives of St. Petersburg City Administration, top managers of congress and exhibition companies and hospitality sector companies of St. Petersburg, as well as representatives of companies providing support services.

Chairman of St. Petersburg City Committee for Tourism Development Evgeny Pankevich addressed the participants. He mentioned the ambassador program that will be launched this year in St. Petersburg, helping represent Russia’s Northern Capital at all congress and exhibition events, and shaping the main agenda of congresses that will be taking place in St. Petersburg.

The speaker added that the congress and exhibition sector was the top priority project of the Government of St. Petersburg. This year we are seeing a 10% increase in the number of congress and exhibition events. “We are hopeful that the program that we are launching today, will help us grow further. We expect the number of business travelers who choose MICE-tourism to grow on average by one million people,” he said.

The key event of the forum was the signing of agreements between the Congress and Exhibition Bureau and the first participants in the Ambassador of St. Petersburg program, including Sergey Alekseyev, Vice President of ExpoForum International, President of the Russian Union of Exhibitions and Fairs and Executive Vice President of the Global Association of the Exhibition Industry (UFI), Svetlana Valeeva, full member of the Petrovsky Academy of Sciences and Arts, President of the Fund for Veterinary Development, member of the Public Chamber of St. Petersburg on Humane Treatment of Animals, Evgeny Gudov, founder and General Director of Planetarium No. 1, Elena Kalinina, Rector of St. Petersburg Institute of Social Studies and Economics and President of the Women's Alliance Association, Rector of St. Petersburg University of Economics (SPSUEF) and Peter Yablonsky, Director of St. Petersburg Research Institute of TB and Lung Disease Studies under the Ministry of Health of the Russian Federation, and President of the National Association of TB and Lung Disease Physicians (NAF).

Implementation of this program will help us increase the number of events taking place in Russia’s Northern Capital, and will have a positive effect on development of the cultural, scientific and event potential of the city.

We definitely need ambassadors, because they help us attract large international events, says Sergey Voronkov, CEO of ExpoForum-International.One good example is the Congress of the Global Association of the Exhibition Industry (UFI). Sergey Alekseyev is the first UFI president from Russia in the history of the organization. He has now become a representative of all of Russia. In a year of sanctions and growing tensions between Russia and other countries, this allowed the decision to host the 85th Global Congress of the UFI in St. Petersburg for the first time in the past twenty-five years.

On his part, the official ambassador Sergey Alekseyev says that it is a great honor for him to represent Russia: “I have served as a representative of St. Petersburg on the international arena for many years, and now I will be doing the same in an official capacity. I am confident that by working together, we will be able to increase the interest of international event organizers in St. Petersburg, and this will help us bring a larger number of business tourists to the city.

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