On November 5, 2020, the ceremony of awarding the finalists of the 20th National Hotel Award was held in Moscow. In the framework of it St. Petersburg became the winner in the nomination "The best city for a hotel business with a population of more than a million inhabitants." Ekaterinburg and Kazan also fought for the title of leader in this category.
In 2020, this nomination for the National Hotel Award was introduced for the first time, and the Northern Capital became the first winner in the history of the competition. The cities of Russia were assessed according to the event calendar, legislation in terms of the development of the hotel business, the unique features of the region, transport infrastructure and economic potential, as well as the availability of qualified personnel and educational institutions. The selection of the winners took place in two stages - a user vote on the award website from March 01 to September 15, 2020, and a vote by a professional jury from September 16 to October 15, 2020. The results were announced at the National Hotel Award ceremony. The award was presented to Sergey Korneev, Chairman of the Committee for Tourism Development of St. Petersburg.
“It is a great honor for our city to be the first winner of such a prestigious award. Indeed, St. Petersburg is a world-class international tourist center. For many years, professionals in the hospitality and hotel industry have created and continue to create the image of a hospitable modern St. Petersburg. Despite the restrictions on inbound tourism and the closure of borders due to CV-19, we maintain the highest level of professionalism of workers and managers of the tourism sector in the Northern Capital. In the current conditions, it is very important to preserve its development, for this we, together with industry representatives, are implementing the city marketing program "Petersburg Hospitality", with the aim of step-by-step recovery of the tourism industry after the pandemic," - said Sergey Korneev, Chairman of the Committee for Tourism Development of St. Petersburg.
Vice-Governor of St. Petersburg Maxim Sokolov noted: "Today our main task is to preserve the tourist potential of St. Petersburg and further development of the industry, taking into account the restrictions that we have."
According to the head of Rostourism Zarina Doguzova, St. Petersburg is rightfully chosen as the best city for running a hotel business:
“St. Petersburg is rightfully chosen as the best city for the hotel business. In the Northern Capital, guests will be greeted by a service worthy of the world's best destinations. A visitor in the city always has something to see and enjoy. Even if you have already been to St. Petersburg dozens of times, there is 1000 and one reason to return. Indeed, today the Northern Capital is changing rapidly, new tourist points, modern urban spaces appear, and a new tourist geography of St. Petersburg is being formed. Today St. Petersburg is a combination of the traditional and the avant-garde, time-tested and only fashionable. St. Petersburg is about a special atmosphere and mood, the city is its own for everyone and everyone can discover it again and again. Congratulations to St. Petersburg on winning such a prestigious hotel award. I am confident that the city will cope with the challenges of the pandemic and will continue to break records in the tourism market, attracting new guests and travelers from all over the world."
The city's leadership is also confirmed by the largest number of awards in the all-Russian rating received this year by representatives of the hotel industry in St. Petersburg. Apart-hotel Dockland life and the complex of apart-hotels VALO are recognized as the best apart-hotels in Russia. The First Line Hotel Health Care Resort became the leader in the Best Healthy Lifestyle Concept. The award for the best hotel design went to ALBORA Boutique Hotel. Gammа hotel was recognized as the best wedding hotel. The Lakhta Plaza business hotel became the leader in the Best Hotel Restaurant nomination.
Accommodation facilities of all categories and types are annually invited to participate in the National Hotel Award of the Russian Hotel Association (RHA); individuals - heads of hotel enterprises, hotel chains - can also apply for some nominations. Companies supplying goods or services for the Horeca industry take part in the nomination “Supplier of the Year”. The cities of the Russian Federation represented by local tourism management bodies, executive authorities in tourism and / or local specialized public organizations, can participate in the new nomination for the award “Best city for a hotel business”.
The National Hotel Award is the most significant event for the development of the Russian hospitality industry. The geography of the participants is all over Russia, and the range of nominations allows accommodation facilities of all types and categories to join the fight for the prestigious award. The event was organized by the Russian Hotel Association with the support of the Ministry of Economic Development of the Russian Federation, the Federal Agency for Tourism, the Russian Union of Tourism Industry, the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of the Russian Federation, the Government of Moscow, and the Government of St. Petersburg.
The tourist industry of St. Petersburg makes a significant contribution to the city's economy along with the largest enterprises in the city. In 2019, up to 300 thousand people were involved in the hospitality and related industries in total during the high season, and the total multiplier contribution from the industry to the economy of St. Petersburg amounted to 378.6 billion rubles.
In 2020, at the initiative of the Committee for the Development of Tourism of St. Petersburg, hotel organizations were for the first time included in the list of backbone enterprises of the city.
Let us remind you that according to the Federal List of Tourist Sites in St. Petersburg there are 1,061 classified hotels. Of these, 5-star hotels - 33, 4-star hotels - 112, and 3-star hotels - 307.