The second meeting of the Expert Council on support of economic subjects in the field of hotel business and tourism under the implementation of measures to counter the new coronavirus infection (COVID-19) was held in the Nevskaya Ratusha venue.
Expert Council is to monitor and assess tourism industry’scurrent situation
Sergey Korneev, Chairman of the St. Petersburg Committee for Tourism Development, emphasized that right now the main job of the expert council is to monitor and assess the situation in real time in order to give a prompt response in case of difficulties.
«Without you, experts, the top specialists representing the city's hospitality industry, we will not make any progress. With your help, we were able to show the importance of tourism for the regionat the federal level, as well as develop a set of industry support measures timely. In the future, we should also join hands», – said Sergey Korneev.
FollowingSt. Petersburg’s unprecedented (according to the Federal Agency for Tourism (https://tourism.gov.ru/news/17035/) decisions, hotels, health resort institutions, travelagencies, as well as transport companies that carry out tourist bus services on a custom basis are exempt from major regional taxesfor the duration of 2020 and 2021. The relevant amendments to the legislation were adopted by the Legislative Assembly of St. Petersburg and signed by the Governor A.D. Beglov (https://www.gov.spb.ru/gov/otrasl/c_tourism/news/203996/).
Together with direct aid in the form of loans provided by the city government on December 28 (https://www.gov.spb.ru/gov/otrasl/c_tourism/news/204410/), the total amount of financial support will come to approximately 4 billion rubles.
The moderators of the expert council created messenger group chats for different f tourism segments for the purpose of operational communication between the members of the expert council and the expert groups of tourism sector representatives of various industry areas.
Following the results of the second meeting, the speakers provided the participants with analytical information on the sectorial areas of the tourism industry.
Ekaterina Shadskaya, Director of the North-West regional branch of the Russian Union of Travel Industry, said that the Union conducted an anonymous survey, which showed that many indicators went downfor obvious reasons; a decline was noted in assessing the dynamics of the tourist productssales. Organizations that focused on outbound tourism were especially affected.
Elena Tsereteli, Chairlady of the Public Council for Small Business under the Governor of St. Petersburg, emphasized that it is important to consider those areas of the tourism industry that have not been legislatively registeredyet; she also noted that a great deal of trust is put in the work of the Expert Council.
Alexey Musakin, Vice President of the Hotel Association, Director of the St. Petersburg and the Leningrad Region branch of the Russian Hotel Association, announced the results of the hotel segment survey.
«The questionnaires came from different markets, but each of the groups showed roughly the same numbers. In particular, the occupancy rate of all hotels, except for hostels, in 2020 amounted to about 20%. The occupancy rate of hostels ranged from 60 to 75%. However, it is important to note that these are hostels with a small room supply. The drop in hotel occupancy, excluding hostels, was 25-30% compared to last year. The average room rate fell by 25-30%, while revenue dropped to 60%. Revenue from hostels decreased by 15-20 %», – said Alexey Musakin.
The expert also noted that during such tough times, the staff size in accommodation facilities changed little, if at all.