It has been revealed after the Gala-Ceremony of the World Travel Awards 2020 on the 27th of November. The ceremony has been held in Moscow online.
Saint Petersburg is the winner of the one of the most prestigious awards in the Best in Travel and is recognized as World's Leading Cultural City Destination, leaving behind such nominees as Paris, London, Rome, Venice, New York, Rio de Janeiro, Kyoto, Sydney and others.
Only the best in this industry could win and therefore World Travel Awards is also known as the Oscar in the Tourism.
«We would like to thank everyone, who voted for Saint Petersburg. Our city is considered as the cultural capital of Russia and it is a great honor being the winner in the World's Leading Cultural City Destination nomination and it is also a great responsibility in front of the tourists from all over the world. We must show not only the whole variety of our touristic opportunities, but to provide all guests of the Northern Capital of Russia with safety stay. Saint Petersburg will proudly carry the title and continue to develop new cultural touristic projects, routes, locations and will demonstrate the real Petersburg’s hospitality», -- admitted the significance of the victory Chairman of the Saint Petersburg Committee for Tourism Development, Sergey Korneev.
Head of the Federal Agency for Tourism Zarina Doguzova said «We congratulate Saint Petersburg with the win of the Oscar in the Tourism in such a prestigious nomination. The Northern capital of Russia gives a unique opportunity to every tourist to feel such a deep cultural and historical unity of West and East, Russia and Europe, past and present. There is not such a place somewhere in the world. Well-developed touristic infrastructure, new city spaces and gastronomy increase advantages of Saint Petersburg as for russian tourists and also for tourists from all over the world, which we are waiting for soon».
Annually Saint Petersburg visit millions of tourists from all over the world. In 2019 the number was 10,4 million; 4,9 million of them were foreigners. In the city is being developed new project «New touristic geography of Saint Petersburg», which will show the variety of touristic possibilities. Saint Petersburg tries its best to provide comfort and safe stay, taking part in the international program Safe Travels.
The Founder of the World Travel Awards Mr. Graham Cooke said, that in 2020 program received a record number of votes cast by the public and this shows that the appetite for travel has never been stronger.
World Travel Awards was founded in 1993. Year by year it is given to the best in different nominations after the voting for one of the nominees, in which take part tourists and specialists of the industry. For choosing the winner it is very important to pay attention to the developed infrastructure and hotel’s chain, safety of the city and unique sights.
Previously Saint Petersburg was also the winner of the World Travel Awards in the following nominations: in 2015 «Leading European Destination», in 2016 «the World’s Leading Cultural City Destination», in 2017 and 2018 Saint Petersburg claimed the title of «Europe’s Leading City Destination», in 2019 « Europe’s Leading City Destination».
Tourism is a driver of St. Petersburg's economic development and shows rapid growth. In 2019 tourists spent 376.8 billion rubles in our city. The contribution of tourism to the economy
was 4.4% of GRP. Tourism accounts for 12% of St. Petersburg's total exports and 44.5% of its non-energy non-resource exports, while tourism is the most environmentally friendly export. Employment in the hospitality industry in the normal season is more than 100 thousands of people, in high season this figure increases to 300 thousands, and in total, up to 500 thousands of people are connected with the hospitality industry in one way or another. Note, that 10.4 million tourists visited Saint Petersburg in 2019, which is 26.8% higher than in 2018.