Panel discussions on the development of tourism in St. Petersburg.

16 December 2020

On December 9, 2020, the St. Petersburg Committee on the Development of Tourism held two panel discussions in the form of an online live stream on the “Zoom” platform. The general title of the discussions was “Manager Development and Training in the tourism industry. Foundation of the International Tourism Competence Centre in St. Petersburg under the auspices of the UNWTO.”

 

The event was co-organized by the Federal Agency for Tourism, the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) and the St. Petersburg State University of Economics.

The following discussions took place by videoconference: “St. Petersburg as an educational center for tourism. New educational technologies in tourism.” and “The foundation of the International Tourism Competence Centre in St. Petersburg under the auspices of the UNWTO, on the basis of world experience in creating International Centers of the UNWTO Academy.”

The event brought together various sections of the professional public to discuss topical issues of education in the field of tourism. More than three hundred representatives of the tourism industry, the business community, heads and teaching staff of educational institutions of all levels, representatives of executive authorities took part in the event.

The participants were greeted by the Chairman of the St. Petersburg Committee on the Development of Tourism Sergey Korneev, the Deputy Chairman Nana Gvichia, the Head of the Department of State Tourism Projects and Tourism Safety of the Federal Agency for Tourism (Rostourism) Elena Lysenkova. Sergei Korneev emphasized that in the current conditions, when tourism is “put on hold”, the level of training of professional personnel for solving new problems and competently responding to new challenges is of particular importance. He noted that St. Petersburg is a world tourist center and has the best professional level of training for tourism in Russia. Nana Gvichia reviewed the strategic objectives and priority areas of the new International Tourism Competence Centre in St. Petersburg under the auspices of the UNWTO and stressed that the business community, government officials and educational organizations that train personnel for the industry should unite efforts to develop innovative solutions and effective mechanisms for the development of the resource potential of St. Petersburg as a leading destination in the international tourism market.

Local and international experts made presentations at the discussions; the topics of the presentations can be found in the attached Program.

The discussions were moderated by Alexey Musakin, the Managing Partner of Cronwell Hotels & Resorts, the General Director of the Cronwell Management Company, the Vice President of the Russian Hotel Association, the Associate Professor of the Department of Hotel and Restaurant Business at St. Petersburg State University of Economics, the Director of the Center for International and Scientific Research and projects of the St. Petersburg State University of Economics.

The reports presented by the experts aroused keen interest. Within the framework of the stated topics, the participants were able to discuss the prospects for the foundation of the International Center of Tourism Competence in St. Petersburg; find points of contact in the search for approaches to synchronize specialized educational programs at various levels, including creating a linear educational process using new technologies; conceptualize global experience in preparing educational institutions for UNWTO certification. An important result of the discussions was the extension of cooperation between St. Petersburg, the regions of the Russian Federation and foreign countries in the field of education in the sphere of tourism.

Based on the results of the event, the Implementation program ("Road Map") was developed within the framework of the project for the creation and development of the International Center of Tourism Competence in St. Petersburg under the auspices of UNWTO for 2021 - 2026. The St. Petersburg State University of Economics is going to takes an active part in the newly launched project.