St. Petersburg became the football capital of Russia and Europe for a whole month. While passions were heating up on the field of the stadium, the staff of the City Tourist Information Bureau was providing Russian and foreign football fans with information on the best way of spending time in the city on the Neva River. For that purpose, in the immediate vicinity of football locations, the St. Petersburg Committee for Tourism Development has placed mobile information offices, additionally, a Contact Center was operating for guests around the clock, and a mobile tourist service "AskmeSPb" was on duty. Also, guests and residents of the city were offered a variety of interactive football programs.
Tourist offices near the Gazprom Arena stadium and fan zones
For the Championship games held in St. Petersburg, a mobile information office of the City Tourist Information Bureau was placed on the way to the stadium. Here the guests of the event could get all the necessary tourist information and reference materials about the city. Everyone could take part in interactive promotions and thematic contests. The winners were awarded with souvenirs with the official symbols of UEFA EURO 2020 and St. Petersburg. The total number of visitors and participants in competitions has reached more than 15 thousand people.
More than 9 thousand people contacted the mobile office located in the Primorsky Victory Park and the information desk installed in the Football Park at the Yubileyny Sports Palace, among whom 82.8% were Russian citizens, and the remaining 17.2% were guests from abroad. Foreigners came mainly from Poland, Finland, Belgium, Switzerland, Germany, Sweden, Spain and Slovakia. The majority of visitors from Russian regions were from: Moscow, Samara, Yekaterinburg, Rostov-on-Don and Kazan.
"AskmeSPb" Mobile Service
At the stadium, near the most popular sights of St. Petersburg and at the official fan zones of the Championship, AskmeSPb staff was on duty every day, ready to answer questions from Russian and foreign tourists, provide informational materials and free maps of the Northern capital. They were easily recognizable distinguished by branded segways and uniforms with a sign “AskmeSPb”.
"In Saint Petersburg it's clear!" - the slogan of the mobile team "AskmeSpb", which was confirmed both by the number of tourists' requests and by the weather on the days of the games.
During the Championship, the service handled more than 2,100 questions, of which 87.6% were from Russian-speaking guests, and 12.4% from foreign ones. The largest number of requests came from residents of Moscow, Krasnodar, Kaliningrad, Kazan, Yekaterinburg, Poland, Slovakia, Finland, and Switzerland.
Information offices, pavilions and a 24-hour Contact Center
Nine information offices and pavilions of the “City Tourist Information Bureau” received city residents and tourists throughout the Championship. Interested people could find them in the most well-known places of the city: Pulkovo airport, Palace Square, Vosstaniya Square and other popular spots. Tourists received information support, free reference materials about St. Petersburg as well as assistance in emergency situations. In addition, visitors to the central pavilions and offices had the opportunity to purchase boat trips, sightseeing bus tours, tickets for performances at the main theatre venues, as well as souvenirs.
In addition to in-person assistance, the St. Petersburg Tourism Development Committee launched a 24-hour Contact Center for tourists. It provided football fans with all the information they needed for a comfortable stay in the city. Operators answered calls in English, French and German, advised tourists on the current city events, explained excursion routes and public transport system, shared useful details about the work of museums and cultural institutions of the city. In addition, Contact Center provided guests of the Northern Capital with the information about the UEFA EURO 2020 games held in St. Petersburg, the operation of fan zones, as well as quick and convenient routes to the stadium. Phone numbers of the 24-hour helpline: 8 (800) 222-88-12 and 8 (812) 324-03-03. Moreover, the official Telegram chatbot was also available to users.
The total number of inquiries during the Championship reached almost 29 thousand, 8% of which belong to foreign citizens. Guests from Moscow, the Moscow region, Kazan, Krasnodar, Yekaterinburg and Kaliningrad applied for information most frequently.
The special section Safe Travels SPb on the official tourist portal of St. Petersburg (visit-petersburg.ru) gives tourists an opportunity to check the hotels’ compliance with the requirements for safe provision of services. It lists all the travel industry representatives that have received the international label Safe Travels SPb. Since June 11 and at the time of publication, about 75 thousand people accessed visit-petersburg.ru portal, and the total number of views has approached 145 thousand.
Balloons with match scores
This summer in St. Petersburg will be remembered not only for top-class football, but also for the unique way of announcing the game results. After each game, two balloons 2.9 meters in diameter floated above the Spit of Vasilievsky Island. From the side of the water area of the Neva, one could see the flags of the teams playing in St. Petersburg and the corresponding score of the past game and on the reverse side was the logo of the Northern Capital. The initiative was organized by the City Committee for Tourism Development and aimed at increasing the tourist popularity of St. Petersburg and the international media coverage of the festive atmosphere of the city, comfortable and open to guests.
Large-scale street exposition "Silver Necklace of Russia" at the Nikolsky Gate of the Peter and Paul's Fortress
Especially for the Championship, the Central Exhibition Hall “Manezh” and the Committee for Tourism Development of St. Petersburg, with the support of the Committee for Culture, have prepared a new art project “Silver Necklace of Russia”. The series of installations consisted of 11 silver beads that make up a necklace and symbolize each of the 11 constituent entities of the Russian Federation: St. Petersburg, Arkhangelsk, Vologda, Leningrad, Kaliningrad, Murmansk, Novgorod, Pskov regions, Nenets Autonomous Okrug, the Republics of Karelia and Komi. The beads measuring 1.8 meters were placed in accordance with the geographical position of the regions of the North-West, and the bead symbolizing St. Petersburg became the heart of the exhibition. It was made in the form of a large mirror ball, which reflects the city and all the other beads. The project has gained popularity among citizens, as well as tourists from the regions and foreigners. Media representatives who came to cover UEFA EURO 2020 also actively attended the exhibition. The exhibition will run until September 16, 2021.
Promotion of the football capital of Russia
On June 10-14, the St. Petersburg Tourism Development Committee organized a press tour for 10 journalists and 10 bloggers from Russia. The delegation was introduced to the city and was given the opportunity to tell its audience about the eventful direction of tourism in St. Petersburg, the objects of the New cultural and tourist geography, and the gastronomic possibilities of the city. As a result of the press tour, publications on social networks received more than 200 thousand views. Materials from major regional media will be presented until the end of July 2021.
Excursion services for the media
The journalists working in the press center and covering EURO 2020 were organized an evening walk along the rivers and canals of St. Petersburg, during which they could appreciate the new, modern points of tourist attraction of St. Petersburg. Among them are views of: Lakhta Center, Western High-Speed Diameter, Gazprom Arena stadium. Also, representatives of the media were presented with 30 tickets for excursion sessions to the Museum of Jewelry "Faberge Museum" and a walking sightseeing tour from the "City Tourist Information Bureau" in the historical center using a portable audio system of the radio guide.
The European Football Championship 2020 is the 16th edition of the football tournament held every four years among the national teams of UEFA. The championship was supposed to be held from June 12 to July 12, 2020, but due to the spread of the new coronavirus infection COVID-19, it is held from June 11 to July 11, 2021. 7 matches of the Championship took place in St. Petersburg. During this time, the city was visited by 22,000 foreign fans.