The 3rd stage of the state program "tourist cashback" was ordered to be extended until the end of the year

22 April 2021

On April 21, President Vladimir Putin delivered his annual address to the Federal Assembly.

Tourism in Russia will become more accessible. The 3rd stage of the state program "tourist cashback" was ordered to be extended until the end of the year

The Head of State, in particular, said: "So that as many people as possible can improve their health in sanatoriums and resorts, I propose at least until the end of the year to extend the program, according to which a citizen returns 20 percent of his expenses for tourist trips in Russia."

In 2020, St.-Petersburg also became a participant of the state program of subsidizing trips in Russia, "tourist cashback", implemented by the decision of the Government of the Russian Federation in order to develop domestic tourism. After the introduction of additional New Year's restrictions, St.-Petersburg appealed to the Federal Tourism Agency with a request to extend the cashback program, the initiative was supported by the Government of the Russian Federation, and a decision was made to postpone trips under the second stage of the program for the whole of 2021. On March 18, 2021, the third stage of the program started. Literally in a moment St.-Petersburg entered the TOP 3 in terms of booking tours with cashback.

If earlier travelers bought tours to St.-Petersburg in the lowest price category – the average bill in the second stage of the cashback campaign was only 11,000 rubles, now such a bill for short tours to the cultural capital is 35 thousand rubles.

"Such measures, among other things, helped the hospitality industry to continue its activities in the extremely difficult conditions caused by the pandemic, and gave tourists an incentive to evaluate the multifaceted tourist opportunities of St.-Petersburg once again. The extension of the cashback is a very correct and timely decision: despite the trend towards a cautious increase in requests and bookings to visit our city in February-March, in order to further restore tourist flows, both the government and the tourist community will need to do complex and systematic work in order to turn the delayed tourist demand towards St.-Petersburg, its "classic" and new tourist offers after the pandemic decreases. In order to attract visitors to our city in the near future, we have conducted and will continue to conduct the most active information campaign in the domestic and international markets. Taking into account the support provided by the Government of St. Petersburg to the tourism industry, in total, more than 4 billion rubles – the cashback will be a significant federal measure that will undoubtedly help us all - the city's hospitality industry, travel agencies and hotels to survive a difficult period and move on to the recovery of the industry, " comments Sergey Korneev, the Chairman of the Committee for Tourism Development.

The refund program policy: the duration of the tour or hotel stay must be at least 2 nights. The amount of the refund is 20% of the tour cost, but not more than 20 thousand rubles. Refund is granted only for trips paid through the "Mir" payment system. The money is transferred to the account automatically within five days from the date of payment for the trip.

The President urged to pay special attention to children's health and recreation.

He noted that children's recreation should be made as affordable as possible and offered to refund parents half the cost of the children`s summer camp stays.

The President also proposed to create additional opportunities for student tourism. “This year, the  pilot projects in this area are to be launched, including stays on university campuses and hostels in every region for students who travel around the country in the summer. Of course, we need to encourage young people who excel in academic competitions, in volunteer and creative initiatives, in the projects of the "Russia - Land of Opportunities" platform. For these young people, the program of partial tourist refund is going to be available during the vacation period, the holidays, in the so-called high season. We haven’t made any decisions quite like these before”, the President said.

The Committee for Tourism Development of St. Petersburg is implementing the project "New Tourist and Cultural Geography of St. Petersburg", on the basis of which a program of educational tourism is being developed. The main objective of the program is attracting tourists (schoolchildren and their parents, students, specialists) through a diverse list of opportunities for professional training and obtaining certificates confirming new competencies and qualifications. The program integrates new objects and places of interest, interesting for both schoolchildren and students, into the existing map of tourist locations.

 “One of our principal goals is to popularize the whole variety of tourist offers in St. Petersburg. By developing new tourist programs, we, together with the professional community, respond to the requests of modern travellers with various interests and budgets, motivating them to return to the city on the Neva again and again", - Sergey Korneev, the Chairman of the Committee for Tourism Development of St. Petersburg, explained.