November 1 2021

World Travel Awards – the leading authority that recognizes and rewards excellence in travel and tourism – has revealed its Europe 2021 winners. The tourist capital of Russia was named «Europe's Leading City Break Destination 2021» and «Europe's Leading Heritage Destination 2021» leaving such as Rome, Paris, Amsterdam, London, and Venice behind.

For the first time, the Russian program won the category «Europe's Leading Marketing Campaign 2021». The winner - marketing campaign of Saint-Petersburg Committee for Tourism Development «Petersburg hospitality / Safe Travels / New tourist geography» outpaced other regions of Europe– among them projects of the Ministry of Tourism of Greece and the Tourism Agency of Portugal.

Votes were cast by travel industry professionals and the public, with the nominee gaining the most votes in a category named as the winner.

The Governor of St. Petersburg Alexander Beglov thanked everyone who has voted for the Northern capital and expressed confidence that the city will have many more achievements on the international tourism scene.

The head of the Federal Agency for Tourism Zarina Doguzova noted the prestigious prize awarded to our city: «St. Petersburg has long taken a special place on the world tourism map and the World Travel Awards once again proved it. The city-museum, with its brands, atmosphere, urban culture, forms a new tourist geography today - creative spaces are opening up, new routes and new points of attraction appear. The modern tourist has a very high demand for impressions, he is exacting with high expectations - not only beauty, aesthetics, but also variety, comfort, level of service and, of course, safety. Petersburg holds a high level in the hospitality and this is the result of great teamwork. Tourists who come to the Northern capital enjoy not only visiting museums, theaters, atmospheric walks along St. Petersburg streets and canals, but, also high-quality tourist infrastructure, excellent restaurants and hotels. I congratulate one of my favorite cities with this international recognition and wish that every year more and more tourists from all over the world discover the unique Petersburg,» commented the Head of the Federal Agency for Tourism.

In the hospitality sector, the Corinthia St. Petersburg Hotel was recognized as the best business hotel in Russia for the fourth time in a row, and the Astoria Hotel won the Best Luxury Hotel in Russia 2021 nomination.

Sergey Korneev, Chairman of Saint-Petersburg Committee for Tourism Development, expressed his gratitude to the representatives of the industry.

«Despite unprecedented challenges, the hospitality has shown it can withstand and survive the most challenging period. The World travel awards is the best confirmation of the contribution and effort of people that work in the tourism sector of St. Petersburg. Travelers arriving in our city admire it and remain its friends forever. Tourism workers demonstrated high professionalism, they made great efforts to maintain the status of a leading tourist center, not only offering guests a wide variety of routes, but also ensuring the safety of their stay in the Northern capital. All of the above was reflected in the marketing campaign of the city, which we will continue to develop further, drawing attention to all the tourist opportunities and programs of St. Petersburg. We will show our guests all the best, all the classic and new points of attraction of the city on the Neva that they can discover thanks to the project of  New tourist and cultural geography. We see that all major tourism centers are fighting for future tourist flows, for their attention and the existing deferred demand. Our projects and marketing activity are aimed to direct this demand towards trips to St. Petersburg, as soon as many countries around the world begin to emerge from lockdown,» said Sergei Korneev.

This year, the regional winners were awarded at the World Expo 2020 in Dubai during October. The Deputy Chairman of Saint-Petersburg Committee for Tourism Development Yulia Kuzenskaya has received the award on behalf of the city at the ceremony of the European stage, on October 22. The Vice Consul of the Russian Federation in Dubai, Alexander Lyubovinsky also attended the ceremony.

World Travel Awards has opened voting for the prestigious World categories of its 2021 programme where the Cultural capital of Russia is presented in the following nominations: World's Leading Business Travel Destination 2021,World's Leading City Break Destination 2021, World's Leading City Destination 2021, World's Leading Cruise Destination 2021, World's Leading Cultural City Destination 2021, World's Leading Heritage City Destination 2021,World's Leading Heritage Destination 2021, World's Leading Marketing Campaign 2021

You can join the voting (available here for everyone registered before October 24). This year's World Travel Awards World winners will be unvieled at the annual Grand Final Gala Ceremony to be held in Moscow, Russia on 26th November.


Learn more about the program "Petersburg hospitality/Safe Travels/New tourist geography":

The main goal of the marketing program is the implementation of complex events that will draw attention to St. Petersburg as the most comfortable and safest destination, and help the hospitality industry to restart their activities.

St. Petersburg was the first in Russia to join the international WTTC program for safe tourism: Safe Travels. For tourists, this sign is a guarantee that the services provided by city tourism organizations meet the requirements of sanitary, hygienic and safety standards. In line with international trends, the Safe Travels SPb sign will help you feel secure and safe during your visit.  At the end of 2020, Moscow also joined the marketing program with the sign Safe Travels Discover Moscow, and this year the resort city of Sochi entered the program.

At the moment, more than 1800 organizations of the hospitality industry of the Northern Capital have already joined the program. Everyone who decides to choose St. Petersburg as their vacation destination can head to the Visit-Petersburg official city tourist portal and see, including on the interactive map, every company that have already received the Safe Travels SPB sign.

Along with that, a new tourist geography of St. Petersburg is being formed for those looking for a more contemporary edge. It is bound to help stimulate repeated visits, make the city attractive in any season, and increase the average number of days of stay and the average check of tourists in the future. The program promotes new locations into the existing tourist map of the city and currently includes about 20 main zones in various areas of tourism - from medical to educational, industrial, wedding and others.

In addition, the city on the Neva takes part in all specialized Russian and major foreign exhibitions, including in an online format with a virtual stand.

From September 21, 2021, travelers can also find out more about Saint Petersburg's cultural, historic, gastronomic and architectural diversity, which makes it a memorable city for tourists on a special Internet hub "Visit Petersburg", located in the "Special Issue" section of Euronews and available to audiences in 160 countries around the world.

To promote the city, the Committee, together with the tourist community and all interested partners, carries out large-scale work: develops such projects as "The St. Petersburg Ambassador Program" and "Silver Necklace of Russia", a joint marketing information campaign with Moscow "Two Cities-million impressions", and organizes its own events and holiday celebrations for residents and guests of the city in a hybrid format. For example, the online broadcast of the festival in honor of World Tourism Day attracted about 6 million viewers, and the total coverage reached about 35 million. Similar numbers were shown by the Fire Festival "Christmas Star" - the online broadcast attracted viewers from 140 countries, and the total information coverage was about 10 million people. To do this, the information resources of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation, the Ministry of Culture of Russia, Rossotrudnichestvo, Rostourism were involved, which supported the broadcast of the event to Russian and foreign audiences.

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