An annual number of references to Saint Petersburg in foreign sources accounts over 30 thousands messages. The tourist attraction of Petersburg has been actively covered and is gaining momentum from year to year: since the beginning of the high season of "white nights" to frosty "white days". On 14 September, at Angleterre Hotel, a foreign media delegation was greeted by St. Petersburg Committee for Tourism Development and the establishments under its authority: City Tourist Information Bureau and Saint Petersburg Convention Bureau together with the heads of these departments Evgeny Pankevich and Olga Mugatina. Deputy Chair of St. Petersburg Committee forTourism Development, Nana Gvichiya addressed her welcome speech to the foreign journalists.
Olga Mugatina opened the dialogue: "We are pleased to welcome you to our wonderful city, one of the best travel destinations in the world at the moment. We hope that the cultural capital of Russia will not leave you indifferent and you will love it as much as we do. "
Today, Saint Petersburg by all accounts is undeniably one of the largest tourist destinations in the world. City has tourism industry at an appropriate level, infrastructure for accommodating guests at different levels.
Deputy Chair of St. Petersburg Committee for Tourism Development, Nana Gvichiya told guests about the city's potential, noting that the city is visited by more than 7 million tourists that exceeds the number of local residents. "The number of guests in our city from Canada and America has increased so far, despite the difficult political situation around the states", said the representative of the Committee.
Saint Petersburg has been a venue for congresses and conferences for many years. It is interesting that the Northern Capital is even ahead of Moscow in terms of number of international meetings and organizations held in the city. This is because St. Petersburg has good advertising of business tours. This year, for example, our city held some major events such as the International Historic Congress, a medical conference with the lectures by the best world surgeons and much more. In addition to the professional activities that are being held regularly in the city, the development of cultural tourism is also important, particularly the organization of more than 15 unusual exhibitions, and the creation of new tourist routes along the most beautiful sights of St. Petersburg.
Head of the Committee concluded: "Our main challenge is to make our city the most attractive to tourists in all spheres of activity, so that they would come here over and over again not only for business purposes".
Director General of City Tourist Information Bureau Evgeny Pankevich told about the development opportunities of the tourism market: "When tourists come to St. Petersburg, they face problems such as finding a good hotel and an interesting excursion programme, and our Bureau is ready to help to decide what to do and deal with all these subtleties. From the beginning of the trip, upon arrival at the airport, guests can enjoy one of our information desks in Pulkovo Airport, where the staff will answer any questions, provide the city map and information on attractions and their locations. Head of CTIB added: "Here you can obtain assistance with the choice of a tourist route, as well as the information about the schedule of all the exhibitions and theaters".
There are 12 information points at the moment and a mobile tourist information centre, travelling around the city. It will find its place of permanent residence near the future Museum of Railways at the Baltiysky Railway station soon in the low season. "The main task of our work is to provide good, licensed services." All the staff speak foreign languages and can easily answer any questions of tourists. We are now actively preparing for the FIFA World Cup: we are advertising and helping foreign tourists to buy tickets for the upcoming football matches. We will be very happy to see all the football fans in our city, because the Bureau not only organizes standard routes, such as excursions to the State Hermitage Museum, but also carry out extraordinary tours of any flavor for different tourism sectors. St. Petersburg is a place where everyone is able to find something interesting and attractive, a city with more than 300 museums and galleries, a city of cultural life that you want to visit not only during the White Nights summer season but also in winter when cold and snow is no less beautiful. Director General of CTIB concluded: "There is a popular Russian proverb – "It´s better to see and feel once than hear a hundred times! "