Online tours in St. Petersburg are popular among the Japanese

09 April 2021

On April 8, the city hosted a tourist forum "Japan - St. Petersburg", which was attended by representatives of the general consulates, specialized committees and the tourist community of Japan and St. Petersburg. The event was partially held online.

Within the framework of the forum, the first representative office under the Visit-Petersburg brand in Tokyo, opened in autumn 2019, was presented. It promotes the northern capital of Russia as a popular destination among the Japanese.

Office manager Yasuda Mika said that even the pandemic did not stop the Visit-Petersburg office in Japan. During the restrictions, employees conduct online tours of St. Petersburg. Especially popular are Internet travel to the sites of Fyodor Dostoevsky's novel "Crime and Punishment" and to the Lomo Camera Museum.

“Online tours strengthen the desire of the Japanese to visit the beautiful Russian city in reality and see its sights with their own eyes,” said Ms. Mika.

Also, the forum raised the topic of overcoming the consequences of the pandemic for the tourism industry. The restrictions negatively affected the mutual tourist flow: in 2020, only 13 thousand Japanese visited our country, and only 20 thousand Russians visited the Land of the Rising Sun.

However, the mutual simplification of visa formalities and the development of new travel directions will help to activate tourist flows after the restrictions are lifted. This was stated by the head of the International Cooperation Department of the Federal Agency for Tourism (Rostourism) Demyan Smilevets.

Consul General of Japan in St. Petersburg Yasumasa Iijima recalled that regular flights between the regions have already been restored, and the Japanese can also get a visa to our country.

To attract guests, St. Petersburg was the first city in Russia to join the international program to ensure safe tourism - Safe Travels. Nikita Zhiltsov, deputy general director of the City Tourist Information Bureau, said that today more than 1,700 organizations of the city participate in the program.

The head of the consular department of the Russian Embassy in Japan, Yuri Altukhov, spoke about overcoming technical difficulties when applying for an e-visa. Previously, some foreigners filled in their data with errors, which is why they were denied entry to Russia at checkpoints.

“The modernization of the website of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation, on which the documents for the e-visa were drawn up, ensured the unambiguous correspondence of the personal data of the passport and those indicated in the e-visa. This will minimize the likelihood of errors when filling out the data for an electronic visa, ”said Yuri Altukhov.

Also at the event, they talked about the theaters and museums of the city on the Neva River, about the gastronomy of the Northern capital, about up-to-date information about the coronavirus in St. Petersburg, and about the points that the Japanese should take into account when planning a trip to Russia. Representatives of travel agencies from Japan and Russia presented their products to the general public.