The strategic session is a continuation of the work and execution of instructions given at the session of the Maritime Council under the Government of St. Petersburg on development of yacht tourism, which took place last year under the chairmanship of Governor Alexander Beglov and with the participation of the St. Petersburg Sailing Union, community representatives, federal authorities and specialized city committees.
“Based on the results of the session of the Maritime Council, we came to the conclusion that yacht tourism is one of the priority kinds of tourism for St. Petersburg. This phrase has been mentioned for many years and we cannot but mention it in St. Petersburg, which is, from all points of view, a sea and river center, a tourist and transport hub, the main city of attraction in the Baltic Sea Region, the beginning and end of sea and river routes in our country. And we cannot but talk about such an important and historical kind of tourism and sports in Petersburg. Governor Alexander Beglov has entrusted us with this as a priority work. We are sure that St. Petersburg is the capital of water tourism in Russia”, Sergey Korneev said in his statement.
As part of the event, the Chairman of the Committee said that according to the instructions of the President and the Government of the Russian Federation, a new national project "Tourism and the hospitality industry" is being formed. The national project should be formed this year, and its instruments are already known: development of infrastructure, subsidizing interest rates on loans under one of the federal programs of the national project for the development of infrastructure, as well as marketing and promotion, attracting tourist flows and changing legislation. Sergey Korneev also noted that the Federal Agency for Tourism (Rosturizm) provides comprehensive support to the city in the implementation of the tasks and sees the development of yacht tourism as one of the important areas of its work:
“We’ve got positive moments - first of all, this is support of the federal executive authorities. The Federal Working Group on development of yacht tourism in the Russian Federation is operating today. We are planning to prepare our proposals".
It is worth noting that in November 2020, 4 entrepreneurial initiatives of the Northern capital, aimed at improving the infrastructure of water tourism, became the winners of the Federal Tourism Agency's competition for grant support the projects for the development of domestic and inbound tourism. The grants will allow creating a water eco-tourist route with a historical reconstruction "Clean Water", an accommodation and educational tourism center for visitors of the Nizhne-Svirsky Nature Reserve «Eco Lodge» (The Birds Lodge), a project office for the modernization of water recreation infrastructure and spatial development of coastal territories, as well as analyzing big data in the water recreation industry to evaluate and improve the effectiveness of tourist projects.
The format of the strategic session presupposed intensive group work using the author's method of “volumetric communications” aimed at developing specific plans and projects.
The unusual format of the session made it possible to engage in an open dialogue between the administrations of St. Petersburg and the Leningrad Region, heads of companies in the water recreation industry and experts in this field (Russian Sailing Federation, St. Petersburg Sailing Union, yacht clubs, marinas, shipyards, associations, etc.) and also analyze the current situation.
Eight hours of almost continuous discussion allowed us to analyze the current situation and identify weaknesses that significantly hinder development of the industry. This allowed identifying specific goals and setting tasks, working out plans and deadlines for their implementation.
The St. Petersburg Committee for Tourism Development accepts the coordination of the activities of the executive bodies of St. Petersburg on the formation and implementation of state policy in the development of yacht tourism as one of its key tasks, and together with the expert community will develop a roadmap (set of measures) on development of yacht tourism in St. Petersburg in the current environment. The roadmap will contain topics such as: development of infrastructure facilities; activities that develop recreation on small crafts (including sailing and sailing cruise tourism) and various activities on water (wakeboard, surfing, kayaks, etc.); promotion of yacht tourism opportunities in Russia and abroad.
Of the topics covered by the roadmap, it is worth highlighting events in the industry that position and promote St. Petersburg in Russia and abroad jointly with the Leningrad Region. The two regions have close ties in many directions, and fruitful interaction has been established. The agglomeration of St. Petersburg and the Leningrad Region, as many experts assume, has prospects to become an example of a successful international water recreation center in the future.
The methodologist and moderator of the session Stanislav Koryakin, the director of the Agency for the Development of the Water Recreation Industry and Coastal Territories “Great Arctic Regatta”, also addressed the participants: "Everything we are doing is an attempt to create a systemic shift so that the leisure industry can get as close as possible to what we see abroad".
Feedback from the participants of the strategic session " Saint Petersburg- the Yacht Capital»:
Galina Radaeva, Head of the Project Office "Modernization of Water Recreation Infrastructure and Spatial development of coastal territories»:
"The strategic session allowed like-minded people, leaders in their areas and representatives of the authorities to meet on the same platform, and despite the fact that many people know each other, to put their thoughts and aspirations into a single picture. Only in this way is it possible to "land" real, actually useful projects for society and find ways to implement them, taking into account the capabilities of business and government authorities."
Andrey Berezkin, Director of the IFRC DOD GUMRF named after Admiral S. O. Makarov:
"The event was an important stage in the development of a roadmap for the development of yacht tourism in St. Petersburg and the Leningrad Region. During the session, the main problems the coordinated solution of which will contribute to improving the safety of small-size navigation and the quality of service for yacht tourists in the marinas of our region. Yacht tourism will become even more popular and accessible for residents and guests of St. Petersburg and the Leningrad Region. Special attention was paid to the development of children's and youth water tourism, which is of great importance in the system of patriotic education of the younger generation and the professional orientation of young people to study and work in the maritime sphere, service in the Russian Navy."
Sergey Alekseev, President of the Saint Petersburg Sailing Union:
"The session was useful. It allowed us to once again recall the difficulties faced by yachting enthusiasts and organizers of water tourism in St. Petersburg and the Leningrad Region. Probably, it’s for the first time when people from different spheres related to water tourism gathered up.
Now more than ever, we are seeing an alarming situation in our field, so thank you to the Committee for Tourism Development for this initiative. I hope that we will be able to unravel the tangle of problems that has been created in our favorite and traditional sport and tourism."
Tourism is a driver of St. Petersburg's economic development. In 2019, tourists spent 376.8 billion rubles in the city. Tourism accounts for 12% of St. Petersburg's total exports and 44.5% of its non-energy, non-resource exports, while tourism is the most environmentally friendly export. Employment in the hospitality industry in the normal season is more than 100 thousand people, in the high season this figure increases to 300 thousand, and in total, up to 500 thousand people are involved in tourism and related industries during the peak period. It should be noted that in 2019, 10.4 million people visited St. Petersburg, which is 26.8% higher than the same indicator in 2018.
Photo from the event at the link: https://yadi.sk/d/sgx_uk8f8BdAGg