In 2020, St. Petersburg attracted attention, both from the Russian and the global expert communities of the travel industry, by holding a number of events adapted to the restrictions associated with the covid-19 pandemic. Among the Committee's practices are the hybrid format for holding events; visitor flow management, which allows controlling the flow of spectators and avoiding congestion of people; the use of several venues for the same event; online broadcasting. All these measures helped the city not to abandon most of the planned events: some of them were rescheduled, others transferred to online format.
In order to increase tourist interest and attract travelers to the city on the Neva after the lifting of the covid restrictions, the Committee is conducting a large-scale information campaign. One of its directions is the popularization of key city events by means of online broadcasting throughout the country and abroad. One of the main goals of this technique is to take a leading position in the competition for tourists who dream of realizing their travel plans. The last event held by the Committee already has gained more than 1 million views from about 80 countries, but the numbers continue to grow due to posts in social networks and their further use in information campaigns of Russian and foreign travel organizations.
“Now, when international borders are closed and offline events are limited, we have taken the path of extensive coverage of city events online. This is often the only opportunity to become spectators of our events and festivals for both foreign citizens and many Russian residents. The lessons of the pandemic were not in vain. We have learned to market event tourism in St. Petersburg on the Internet. Any event that takes place on a grand scale online, creates a wide international resonance and forms deferred demand”- comments the Chairman of the Committee Sergey Korneev.
The difficult epidemic situation hasn`t destroyed joint plans with the Ambassadors of St. Petersburg - a number of events has already been rescheduled for the coming years. The International Conference "Speech and Computer" SPECOM – is going to be held in 2021; the 11th International Congress of Cognitive-Behavioral Psychotherapy ICCP - in 2023; 49th European Congress of Lymphology ESL - in 2024; 38th International Geological Congress IGC – in 2028.
The Ambassador Program was initiated and developed in 2018 by the Congress Bureau of the Committee on the Development of Tourism of St. Petersburg. It stands to mention, that the Northern Capital became the first city in Russia to launch this strategically significant project.
“We pay great attention to the development of the project; therefore the recognition of the professional community is the more valuable for us. For two years now, ambassadors have been making a great contribution to the promotion of St. Petersburg as the cultural and business capital of Russia. This serious mission affects all sectors of the city's economy and contributes to the comprehensive development of the region. This year turned out to be difficult for the industry, but we learned how to work successfully in new conditions and carried out some of the planned activities of the ambassador program maintaining a high level of epidemiological safety ”- Olga Rendino, the acting director of the Congress Bureau, shared her thoughts on this year`s success.
Summary of information
The Russian Business Travel & MICE Award is a key event for the entire business tourism market; annually it brings together leading players in the field of MICE and business travel.
Applications for participation in 2020 were submitted by congress and business centers, alternative venues for business events, organizers of conferences and incentive programs, business travel agencies, organizers of online MICE and business tourism events, and many other representatives of the industry from different regions of Russia.
Russian Business Travel & MICE Award is an award for the best companies and enterprises in the field of business travel and MICE, which was established in 2010 by the professional magazine Business Travel and the Conference.ru portal. It is held with the support of the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of the Russian Federation and Rostourism.
In November, our city received one of the most prestigious awards in the world in the field of tourism, the World Travel Award, in the category "World Leading Cultural Destination". This event has already positively influenced the international image of our city, and, with appropriate promotion, it will make further contribution to attracting tourists to St. Petersburg.
St. Petersburg received prizes in several nominations of the All-Russian Russian event awards: the Maslenitsa 2.0 Festival won the first place as “the Best Tourist Event to Popularize Folk Traditions and Crafts”; The Unified Calendar of St. Petersburg Events 2020 won the Grand Prix in “the Best Regional calendar of tourist events”. The Grand Prix in the nomination "The best tourist event in the field of culture" was awarded to the festival "All together Opera" and a special diploma in the nomination "The best tourist event in the field of sports" was awarded to the golf tournament "Cup of the Governor of St. Petersburg".
The city also won in the nomination "Best city for hotel business with a population of more than a million inhabitants" of the 20th National Hotel Award.