Yekaterinburg, Kazan, Sochi and Ufa are also in the top five of the rating. Traditionally, Moscow does not participate in the rating due to the high level of development of the event infrastructure and indicators in this area. It is noted that St. Petersburg, which, even during the crisis, maintained a high level of activity in promoting in the domestic and foreign markets, almost came close to the indicators of the capital.
The indicators evaluated by the center included:
-regional measures to support the convention and exhibition industry during a pandemic;
-evaluation of measures for the modernization of specialized congress and exhibition complexes;
-availability of a program to promote the region as a tourist destination in the domestic and foreign markets;
-availability of an approved policy for the development of the congress and exhibition potential of the region;
-experience in attracting and holding significant high-level events;
-touristic attractiveness and transport accessibility of the destination.
Throughout 2020, St. Petersburg was in the Russian and foreign information field, conducting an extensive marketing campaign. The main goal is to increase the interest of people in Russia and in the world in St. Petersburg, its cultural, event and tourism opportunities. “Proactive work in the Russian and foreign markets will allow us, as the pandemic weakens, to realize the deferred demand from as many travelers as possible, which is very important for the recovery of the tourism economy and dozens of related industries and spheres of city life, to attract new guests to St. Petersburg. To make this happen, we are taking an offensive position, we are actively working to draw attention to the events of the Northern capital, we try to be in the zone of attention of residents of both our country and foreign countries, so that at the first opportunity they choose to visit St. Petersburg”, says the chairman Committee for Tourism Development of St. Petersburg Sergey Korneev.
Thus, the city on the Neva took part in all specialized Russian and three largest foreign events, including two of them in an online format with a virtual stand. The city hosted events in a hybrid and online format, which were awarded with professional prizes, such as the Russian event awards. At the end of 2020, through the resources of Euronews, the Northern Capital was promoted as one of the most attractive tourist destinations in Russia. St. Petersburg was in the top of the Internet reviews of viewers in all languages in all broadcasting countries of the international information TV channel. St. Petersburg also became the first city in Russia to launch and develop a promising and strategically significant ambassador program.
During the existence of the program, thanks to its participants, 20 applications were submitted and 13 rotated congress and exhibition events were attracted - 3 have already taken place, the rest will be held in the period from 2021 to 2028.
“The event industry in Russia at the beginning of 2020 was represented by more than 2.5 thousand companies, and the turnover was more than 200 billion rubles. More than half - 51% - are concentrated in Moscow, the rest is shared by the regions. As a result of the pandemic, according to forecasts of experts and market participants, the industry lost more than 100 billion rubles in revenue. Many events have been rescheduled, canceled and reformatted online. When compiling the rating, those regions were able to get ahead, which in 2020 managed to reorient themselves in time, find new ways to promote and not lose their audience. St. Petersburg tops this rating. The city not only took part in all kinds of exhibitions, including foreign ones with online stands, but was also the first to introduce a number of key programs in its activities”, said Daria Ostrovskaya, General Director of the R&C Exhibition Research Center.
St. Petersburg, the first Russian city to join the Global Destination Sustainability Movement program, has prepared a Sustainable Development Strategy and a Statistical Report on the Sustainable Development of the St. Petersburg Convention and Exhibition Industry for the period 2018-2020. The city has developed a special Protocol for a tourist destination, as well as the Standards for health resorts, hotels, convention and exhibition centers, tour operators, excursion services were prepared by the Committee for the Development of Tourism of St. Petersburg and agreed with Rospotrebnadzor Safety.
In the northern capital, unprecedented measures were taken to support the tourism industry - together with direct financial support in the form of loans; the total amount of assistance is estimated at more than 4 billion rubles. According to the decisions made, for 2020 - 2021 hotels, sanatorium and resort organizations, travel companies, as well as transport companies that carry out tourist bus transportation on a custom basis are exempted from the main regional taxes.