2019 was a record-breaking year for the Saint Petersburg tourism industry. For the first time in history 9.1 million people visited the city in 2019. The tourist flow to the Northern capital increased by 10% compared to 2018.
According to the chairman of the tourism development committee Yevgeny Pankevich, among the tourists who visited St. Petersburg this year, are those who did not come in 2018 because of the World Cup. According to Pankevich, a high tourist flow is observed in the autumn-winter period.
Starting October 1, 2019, an electronic visa regime is introduced in St. Petersburg and the Leningrad Region. Note that about 100 thousand foreigners have already applied for electronic visas to St. Petersburg since the introduction of this regime. And over the past three months, more than 60 thousand tourists from 52 countries have visited the northern capital and the Leningrad region with online visas.
“In the next few years we plan to increase the tourist flow to 12 million a year”, said Alexander Beglov, acting governor of the city, during the 23rd General Assembly of the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO).
According to Beglov, hotel infrastructure is developing rapidly in St. Petersburg. Currently, the city has more than 1.5 thousand hotels with a capacity of more than 90 thousand rooms. “We are developing a hotel infrastructure. We have adopted a government decree that provides appropriate facilities for the construction of hotels,” he said. Beglov also noted that the city is developing a number of areas of the tourism industry, including event and business tourism.
The Committee on Tourism Development annually develops the Unified Calendar of Events of St. Petersburg. The Calendar provides information on events held in the city. Events are organized that have a significant image status for St. Petersburg as a center of event tourism.
Information and communication support for tourism in St. Petersburg is one of the most developed in Russia. The city has 12 tourist information centers. Also for several years, there has been a free tourist telephone line in Russian and English – the contact center that provides tourists with information support, including support in emergency situations. Tourist hotline in Saint Petersburg is open daily from 9:00 to 21:00, telephone numbers: +7 812 324-03-03 and +7 800 222-88-12.