"Northern Palmyra" Tourism Forum has Become a Notable Event of the “Week of Tourism in Saint Petersburg-2021” Business Program

29 September 2021

On September 27, 2021, the II Business Tourism Forum "Northern Palmyra" which opening had been timed to coincide with the celebration of the World Tourism Day began its work in Saint Petersburg. The event was held online.

The forum was opened by the Chairman of the Committee for Tourism Development of Saint Petersburg Sergey Korneev, the Chairman of the Public Council for the Development of Small Business under the Governor of Saint Petersburg, the Director of the Foundation for the Development of Small and Medium-Sized Businesses in Saint Petersburg Elena Tsereteli and the Deputy Chairman of the Committee on Industrial Policy, Innovation and Trade of Saint-Petersburg Olga Goryshina.

In his address to the forum participants, Chairman of the Committee for Tourism Development of Saint Petersburg Sergey Korneev spoke about measures to support the tourism industry in the context of a pandemic and travel restrictions in the world: more than three thousand hospitality enterprises in St. Petersburg received tax incentives in the amount of 1.5 billion. For 1800 jobs, 84 loans were issued for the amount of 256 million rubles. More than five hundred St. Petersburg companies working in the tourism sector received benefits for leasing city property in the form of cancellation or postponement of lease payments. “In addition, the city's tourism organizations were provided with 28 Rostourism grants for the implementation of start-ups in domestic and inbound tourism for a total of 52 million rubles; 17 organizations received a subsidy for the development of inbound tourism in the amount of 9.1 million rubles, ”said the head of the Committee for Tourism Development. - The current year gives hope not only for a smooth recovery of the tourist flow, but also for the further development of infrastructure. In 2021, new hotels, public spaces will open new restaurant and leisure projects will be launched. Despite the pandemic, St. Petersburg maintains a leading position in tourism. In 2020, the city on the Neva received a number of prestigious awards: "The best cultural destination in the world" (World Travel Awards), "Leading business destination in Russia" (according to the rating of the International Congress and Conference Association ICCA), "The best city for hotel business" (National Hotel Award). This year Saint Petersburg has become the most popular destination for domestic tourism. The main task today is to generate deferred demand and draw attention to all tourist programs in the Northern capital, "concluded Sergey Korneev.

“In my opinion, this industry is becoming the leader in overcoming the pandemic. Because, as you can see, delayed demand, international demand were replaced by domestic demand. Our city is doing its best to give impetus to this process”, said Elena Tseretelli, the head of the Public Governor’s Council for the Development of Small Business in Saint Petersburg and the director of the Unified Entrepreneurship Center in Saint-Petersburg.

The forum also paid special attention to Russian banks aiding the hospitality industry as part of federal programs. “Our aid was quite considerable.  It was more than 54 billion rubles for the whole country and 4 billion rubles for Saint-Petersburg. We aided more than 2500 entrepreneurs in Saint Petersburg alone”, said Aleksander Haikinson, the director of the Small and Medium Enterprise Department, the Saint-Petersburg affiliate of Promsvyazbank.

The forum lasted 2 days and there were 18 events on its list with participation of more than 20 Russian regions. The plenary session called “Regions of Russia going towards each other: New leaders. New solutions. New possibilities” was the most important event dedicated to the measures taken by the government to support the hospitality industry amid the pandemic. The main tasks set by the participants of the forum were: to interchange effective tools of developing the hospitality industry, to demonstrate the tourist potential of Saint-Petersburg, North-West and other regions of Russia to entrepreneurs, to popularize new places of attraction and to discuss successful cases of developing the hospitality culture in regions of Russia under the contemporary conditions.

The forum was organized by the regional operator of the national project "SMEs and support of individual business initiative" - the non-profit organization "Fund for the Development of Small and Medium-sized Businesses in Saint-Petersburg". The Forum was held with the support of the Saint-Petersburg Committee for Tourism Development, the Committee for Industrial Policy, Innovations and Trade and the Public Council for the Development of Small Business under the Governor of Saint-Petersburg.

A number of other significant related events were also held as part of the "Tourism Week in Saint-Petersburg-2021" business program from 21th to 28th of September.

The XVIII Congress of the Russian Union of Travel Industry was held in the Northern Capital from 24th to 25th of September, at which a number of fundamentally important decisions were made both for union's own activities - the most reputable professional association of the country - and for the tourism industry. The congress approved the new board of the Russian Union of Travel Industry, adopted amendments to the charter, and determined the subsequent frequency of congresses. A lot of constructive speeches and suggestions sounded at the "free microphone".

The signing of two agreements on the development of educational tourism in Saint-Petersburg was one of the key moments of the congress on September 24th.

The quadripartite agreement on the development of projects in the field of tourism and education was signed between the Committee on Science and Higher Education, the Saint-Petersburg Committee for Tourism Development, the Russian Union of Travel Industry and the Interregional Public Organization "Council of Rectors of Universities of Saint-Petersburg and Leningrad Region". The agreement provides for information cooperation, joint events in the field of educational, cultural and event tourism in the city on the Neva and will expand the offers of Saint-Petersburg in the market of educational and tourist services through the development of new initiatives and target products.

The Agreement on Information Cooperation was also signed between the Saint-Petersburg City Tourist Information Bureau within the jurisdiction of the Committee for Tourism Development and the Coordination Center for Scientific, Technical and Educational Programs. The agreement will allow to offer applicants who come to Saint-Petersburg for the purpose of admission or selection of a suitable university, excursions and tour packages for the duration of their stay for a better acquaintance with the city.

Earlier, at the very beginning of the Tourism Week, a tripartite Agreement on the Implementation of Transport and Tourism Projects in Water Transport was signed between the Committee for Tourism Development, the Committee for Transport of Saint-Petersburg and the Bank ROSSIYA. The agreement will contribute to supporting the potential of the city on the Neva River in this area, developing tourist and other ties of Saint-Petersburg with the subjects of the North-West region and consolidating the status of Saint-Petersburg as the capital of water tourism in Russia.

The Agreement on the Development of Auto Tourism will also serve to unlock the tourist potential and promote new routes for travelers of the city on the Neva River. The document was signed in the course of the Tourism Week during a working session at the Transport Committee by the heads of three organizations: Saint-Petersburg State Budgetary Institution “City Tourist Information Bureau”, Interregional Public Organisation of Auto Travellers “League of Caravanners” and St. Petersburg State Institution “City Parking Management Center of St. Petersburg”. Under the agreement it is planned to improve the conditions for travelers by car and the infrastructure for organizing parking lots and campgrounds in St. Petersburg, as well as to actively promote the offers of the Northern Capital on the tourist market.