The interactive survey was conducted by the St. Petersburg Committee for Tourism Development from the beginning of July 2021 on the official city tourist portal Visit-petersburg.ru. All who wished answered questions about visiting St. Petersburg, spending time in it and the frequency of trips to the city on the Neva River.
They also have been asked questions about expenses, a preferred season for travel and the motives of travelers for coming to St. Petersburg again. Previously, similar polls were conducted by the Committee when guests visited tourist information pavilions located at the airport and popular tourist locations in the city.
The opportunity to make suggestions and share ideas for improving the urban environment from a tourist's point of view became the key feature of this survey. These ideas have been grouped into several topic groups, including:
• Continuation of the pedestrian zones formation in the city centre and public spaces;
• Increase in the number of tourist information centers and more active informing about sights and events;
• Introduction of a unified city excursion ticket, buying online tickets to museums;
• Improvement of urban tourist navigation and preservation of a unified advertising style;
• Creation and promotion of unusual types of excursions: audio guides, applications, thematic reconstructions, walking on the roofs, etc.;
• Further development of night transport and transfers from the airport to the city centre.
Many other promising ideas were received from tourists: the development of St. Petersburg as the capital of water tourism, the integration of various types of leisure activities in one ticket, in addition to excursions, the introduction of QR codes with tourist information to city objects, the development of convenient tourist mobile applications, and much more.
It should be noted that a number of ideas in St. Petersburg have already begun to be implemented in one form or another. To date, a regular water transport "Nevsky Route" round-trip has been introduced in St. Petersburg. Also, as part of the survey proposal implementation, a 3D model of the largest church in St. Petersburg – St. Isaac's Cathedral found its placement on the official tourist portal of St. Petersburg visit-petersburg.ru. A new mobile application for guests of the city on the Neva is under development.
Many of the expressed ideas are already being implemented within the framework of the New Tourist Geography project. The Committee for Tourism Development systematizes information about new attraction points and emerging tourist areas that create the modern image of St. Petersburg on the international tourist market, their accessibility and improvement. Today in St. Petersburg there are more than 50 public spaces that attract not only residents but also guests of the city.
Different thematic festivals, exhibitions of contemporary art, cinema-time, markets and marketplaces with originally clothes from local designers, art and photo-studios, food courts take place now in such creative and art spaces. Every year millions of people visit such places, and not only tourists but also locals. The aim of this project «New touristic geography of Saint Petersburg» is to demonstrate how dynamic develops the city and to show with another way our modern and comfortable touristic environment, welcoming atmosphere for tourists all the time, not only during the hot season – summer, according to the respondents. Autumn, spring and winter got 24%, 18% and 8% of voting.
According to respondents, mostly attractive for tourists are - excursions and unusual impressions (17%), museums (19%) and white nights (19%). Theatres (8%) and cultural events (12%), entertainment (7%) and sport events (3%), good prices (3%), as well as bar and restaurant culture (10%) were also noted.
As for the number of visits to St. Petersburg, 48% of respondents answered that they were here several times. The option "I visit every year" was chosen by 34% and 5% of respondents have never been to the city before. Necessary to admit, that 7% plan a trip this year.
People also answered questions about prices to museums, cinemas, theatres and concerts. Most of them were neutral (68%), but about 30% considered them as too high and it would prefer cheaper prices.
The participants could also respond on the topic- how much they spend per day traveling to St. Petersburg per person (out of the costs of accommodation and food). In particular, 34% of those who took part in the survey are ready to spend on their tourist program - tickets, excursions, entertainment - from 5,000 to 10,000 rubles per day, 31% - from 3,000 to 5,000 rubles. More than 10,000 rubles are ready to spend 18% and less than 3,000 rubles - 17% of respondents.
Obtained information will help to pay more attention to the interests of tourists and citizens. The results will be used to form future strategy to develop popular destinations, to identify the attitude of citizens to tourist programs and offers, show attention to residents of the city and its permanent guests, as well as to attract new tourists with a variety of interests and needs.
Meanwhile tour operators estimated the demand on tours to Saint Petersburg