June 5 2020

In order to overcome the consequences of the pandemic, the development of business tourism requires interregional cooperation. This was discussed in an online interview organized by the Tourism Development Center of Sverdlovsk Region with the heads of the Convention bureaus of St. Petersburg, Sochi and Yekaterinburg.

Participants shared the main objectives of association, the challenges they face, new regional projects, as well as answered questions from top moderator Denis Gorshkov.

Andrey Matsarin, General Director of the Saint Petersburg Convention Bureau, pointed out that one of the first joint steps of the three regions could be cooperation in the sphere of education: "Together with the World tourism organization UNWTO, we are launching an educational project in the field of tourism in Saint Petersburg, which will strengthen and develop the capacities and competencies of tourism professionals in their key action areas, as well as gain knowledge and tools in a practical and interactive mode. It is important for our regions is to learn to speak the same professional language, build up common approaches to business events, and to help employees practice in St. Petersburg, Sochi, and Yekaterinburg."

According to Ellina Akinshina, General Producer в MICE FORUM SOCHI, the cooperation will boost will encourage the exchange of knowledge and experience of public-private partnership, creating interregional marketing products, and ideas for events aimed at various target audiences.

As told by the Executive Director of the Ekaterinburg Convention Bureau, Oksana Trofimova-Nidental, representatives of the three regions that signed the agreement have created a roadmap of joint activities until 2023. The nearest of them is the International Tourist Forum “Big Ural» which will be held in Yekaterinburg at the end of September.

The experts noted that the potential of the MICE industry will continue to grow, interaction and mutual promotion will become catalysts for achieving the desired results. Together, the participants determined the prospects for business tourism development:

  • The online format of events will not replace offline. Face-to-face meetings are essential for long-term business relationships and that is why it is predicted that in the future the content of convention events will be redistributed: small meetings will remain in the online format, and large events will return to offline, so the number of events held offline will be restored by 90% in the future.
  • It is planned to promote each other's regions and form a comprehensive tourist offer to represent the diversity of MICE opportunities in Russia
  • Personnel training is a priority area of development. Therefore, an exchange of experience and practices is required to form high-class professionals.

Previously Saint Petersburg Convention Bureau, the Convention Bureau of Yekaterinburg and Chernomorsky Convention Bureau have signed a trilateral cooperation agreement aimed at demonstrating MICE and tourism potential of the regions, attracting major international events, as well as defining problems of development of the industry and opportunities for its effective solution.

The next working meeting will be held offline in the framework of the Big Ural forum in Yekaterinburg on September 25-26.

Link to the video: https://www.facebook.com/watchparty/1095326180851853

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