The research was carried out on the basis of available data from open Russian and international sources with additional requests for statistical data from border control organizations of both countries, transport companies, tourist information centers and many others. As part of the face-to-face survey, surveys were conducted among more than 1332 people, representatives of the countries of the general population, as well as with representatives of 150 companies of the tourist business community in Russia and Finland.
The main goal of the study is to compile a portrait of a potential tourist based on research data, which will effectively develop and implement a new tourist product that arouses active interest in the end consumer, while helping to attract additional tourists to the region during the so-called “low season”.
At the first stage, the research methodology and the necessary methods for collecting information were selected. The second stage, which ended in December 2019, included work on drawing up a portrait of a tourist based on the collection of statistical data from the Russian and Finnish sides about a tourist who had already visited the project region during the study period 2017 - the first half of 2019, from which countries a tourist came to the region, his preferences and interests.
In 2020, preparations were under way for the final stages of the study - the third and fourth. A tourist portrait was compiled based on studies that studied the characteristics of tourist groups and individual tourists arriving in St. Petersburg / Saimaa Region, Finland during the "low and high" tourist seasons from the second half of 2019 to the first quarter of 2020, in order to identify the interest of potential tourists in the combined routes and the region as a whole, live and online surveys of tourists from the countries of the target markets were carried out. Additionally, interviews were conducted with representatives of the tourism business in Russia and Finland. The study ended with the stage of developing a marketing strategy for the creation and promotion of the combined tourist product "St. Petersburg - Saima".
According to the results of the study, it turned out that a potential tourist in the region of the project is an individual tourist planning a trip on his own. Travel goals are mostly recreational.
Traveling by plane or in your own car, as well as cruises connecting Finland and St. Petersburg, are in demand in terms of transport links to the region. The most popular point of entry to the region is St. Petersburg, which is also of the greatest interest in comparison with other cities in the case of the first trip to the region (on the second place is Savonlinna).
The results of the study showed that the possibility of a combined tour with a simultaneous visit to two countries within one trip is of undoubted interest for a typical tourist, but now the key obstacle to the implementation of such a trip is the need for a visa. Those tourists who have already traveled to the region within the framework of the project are interested in returning.
Finland is interesting for foreign tourists for its culinary traditions, local architecture and design, active forms of recreation and entertainment in nature, winter tourism, shopping opportunities, etc. The preferences of foreigners in relation to St. Petersburg and the Leningrad region include: historical and cultural heritage, richness of nature, national flavor , "Nostalgic" tourism, active recreation, military-patriotic tourism.
Conducting surveys among foreign tourists made it possible to identify characteristic psychological, behavioral, motivational, as well as logistic and visa aspects of choosing a particular destination for travel, the data obtained on the target audience of the region, along with recommendations from representatives of the tourism business of both countries, determined the concept of competent positioning of the final destination tourist product in the international tourist market.
Based on the research, the project partners will develop a general strategy for promoting the region and jointly prepare recommended tourist routes of various thematic focus, each of which will include objects of tourist attraction of St. Petersburg, the Leningrad region and the Lake Saimaa region of Finland.
You can familiarize yourself with the main results of the research through the official website of the project.
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