The fair was opened by Boris Paikin, Chairman of the State Duma Committee on Physical Culture, Sports, Tourism and Youth Affairs. He stressed that only together we will be able to defeat the situation in the industry, and expressed confidence in tourism development.
Elena Lysenkova, Deputy Head of the Federal Agency for Tourism (Rosturizm), noted in her greetings that tourism manifests itself as a new, important and significant branch of the economy, allowing tourists to discover the treasures of Russia. And the development of new areas - water and railway routes, interactive programs and online projects - makes travel in Russia unforgettable and affordable.
Ahmed Youssef, Chairman of the Egyptian Tourism Promotion Board, that is an official partner country this year, noted changes in the country during the pandemic, stressing that the closure of the borders stimulated development in infrastructure and services, and invited participants to have new experiences. “Travel is not an option today, it is an integral part of human life,” he said.
Sergey Korneev, Chairman of the St. Petersburg Committee for Tourism Development, noted that despite a difficult period for the industry, the Committee with colleagues from the Federal Agency for Tourism (Rosturizm) and the regions are working actively. He emphasized:
“We do not sever our contacts and work together. We do not stand still and grow, we try to see problems and find ways to solve them. The routes of the Silver Necklace, both in the past and this year, were in demand more than ever. The 21st century is the century of a mobile tourist who is free to travel. We take this into account both in our regional program and in promoting St. Petersburg. This year, in addition to classical programs and great museums, we have prepared a lot of other things for our guests: objects of the New Tourist Geography, unusual routes and original excursions. We meet the challenges of the time and offer new solutions that we present here at the exhibition."
This year St. Petersburg has become a partner city of the travel market and is holding its own session "Silver Necklace of Russia". Also, within the exhibition, it is planned to sign agreements between the St. Petersburg Tourist Information Bureau and the Tourist Information Center of the Republic of Moldova and TourMachine.
In 2021, the OTDYKH Leisure Fair is held under the motto "We Will Rock Tourism", which highlights the important changes that are currently taking place in the tourism market. 20 countries will take part in the international program: Azerbaijan, Bulgaria, Belarus, Spain, Egypt, Cyprus, Cuba, China, Thailand, Tunisia, Sri Lanka, Moldova, India, Germany, Lithuania, Japan, Peru, Venezuela, Jordan, Brazil. The list of regional participants includes 41 regions of the Russian Federation: the regions of the North-West, the Urals, Siberia, Central Russia, the Khanty-Mansiysk Autonomous District, the Krasnoyarsk Territory, the Tomsk, Chelyabinsk and Omsk Regions, the Republic of Udmurtia. The forum program includes more than 30 business sessions with over 160 speakers.