Yuri Korchagin, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Russian Federation to the Kingdom of Spain, made a welcoming speech. He spoke about Russia's successful efforts to overcome the negative impact that the coronavirus pandemic has had on the global tourism sector. The ambassador noted that in Russia, thanks to the efforts of the federal and regional governments, it was possible to prevent a critical drop in domestic tourism. In addition, the Ambassador touched upon the theme of the upcoming European Football Championship to be held in St. Petersburg and the FAN-ID fans' passports. He noted that the document gives the legal right to enter Russia from May 29 to June 2 and leave until July 12 and does not restrict movement around the country, by passing the issuance of visas.
The joint program of Moscow and St. Petersburg “Two cities - a million impressions” was presented by Ekaterina Pronicheva, Chairman of the Moscow City Tourism Committee and Sergey Korneev, Chairman of the St. Petersburg Tourism Development Committee. They presented a plan of joint events and tourist activities that will be implemented during the year. The joint information campaign is aimed at promoting the tourism products of the two capitals among Russian and foreign guests. The main idea is to offer travellers a comprehensive tourist program of the two cities with visits to interesting events and significant attractions in one trip and motivation for repeat visits.
“Moscow and St. Petersburg are only 790 kilometres apart - a small distance by modern standards. Just 4 hours by train - and now any tourist can appreciate the expositions of Moscow or St. Petersburg museums, go to one of the theatres, admire the estates and find interesting activities in the parks, watch a movie, visit any of the hundreds of events that take place every day in our cities and at the same time evaluate the gastronomic possibilities of both cities. An event calendar will help travellers find activities for every taste on any day of the week. Moscow and St. Petersburg are unique and unrepeatable, but together they create an ideal route, which, we hope, will be appreciated by thousands of our guests this summer", explained Ekaterina Pronicheva.
One of the topical areas of the joint program will be gastronomic tourism: according to the plans, gastronomic festivals and culinary battles await the guests of the two cities, and the Michelin guide will be released in Moscow this year. Thus, in both cities a tourist will be able to find almost any cuisine of the world, and the territory of #PetersburgMoscow / #MoscowPetersburg will become a new point of attraction on the gastronomic map.
The program involves partners - chain hotel brands - who offer lucrative offers for guests planning to visit two capitals in one trip.
Tourist information centres will mutually function in the cities, which will become an additional help for studying the cultural, social and sports agenda of the two capitals.
A unified calendar of events and a variety of joint proposals will be posted on the tourist sites of St. Petersburg and Moscow, as well as on a special landing page of the project, which will also be available in foreign languages.
Sergey Korneev, Chairman of the Committee for Tourism Development of St. Petersburg, spoke about the formation of deferred demand and noted the readiness of the tourism sector to receive foreign tourists after the borders in the world begin to open.
The cities have worked out the issue of the safety of guests (both Moscow and St. Petersburg are participants in the international marketing program Safe Travels), have developed their own strict standards of epidemiological safety in the hospitality industry, which is especially important on the eve of the EURO games and for the further development of the “legacy of the Euro”. In particular, the vaccination of personnel in the tourism and hospitality industry is underway. Since 2020, the seventh degree of freedom of airspace has been introduced at Pulkovo airport, the airport operates on the principle of open skies and has already become the base for the low-cost airline Wizz Air, negotiations are continuing with other low-cost airlines in order to expand the route network. On the instructions of the President of Russia Vladimir Putin, the Government of the Russian Federation made a decision to introduce an electronic visa for foreigners for a period of 16 days, which will give an ideal opportunity to build a combined program of trips to St. Petersburg and Moscow.
“During the pandemic, the hospitality industry has received an opportunity to improve service in terms of epidemiological realities and improve its capabilities. At such a large-scale event as the European Championship, we will be able to show that the system works, and that we are comfortable and safe. We have learned to work in new conditions and, together with Moscow, are preparing, as soon as such an opportunity arises, to receive European tourists with a wide variety of programs for a variety of experiences”, stressed Sergei Korneev.
During the event, Sergei Korneev presented Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary Yuri Korchagin with gratitude from the Governor of St. Petersburg Alexander Beglov for his contribution to the development of tourism and international relations of St. Petersburg with the Kingdom of Spain.
At the event, a cooperation agreement was signed between the St. Petersburg Agency for Medical Tourism and the network of Spanish clinics VITHAS SANIDAD SLU on the joint development of medical tourism between St. Petersburg and Spain.
On May 19-23, at the stands of St. Petersburg and Moscow, within the framework of the FITUR exhibition, there will be presentations of tourist products on the European market under the single brand “Two cities - a million impressions”.