Committee for Tourism Development of St. Petersburg: the city lacks foreign tourists

  • Visa to help
  • Irreplaceable foreigners

Committee for Tourism Development of St. Petersburg: the city does not have enough foreign tourists

For eight months of 2023, St. Five million guests visited St. Petersburg, which is ten percent more than last year’s figure, but there are unresolved problems, said the head of the tourism development committee of the Northern capital, Sergei Korneev, at the international exhibition “Recreation”.
Visa to help The city on the Neva is gradually beginning to feel the effect of the introduction of an electronic visa system, however, due to a lack of information, tourists almost do not use it, the official said.

“Do you know when there was a very good effect from an electronic visa? In 2019, when St. Petersburg and the Kaliningrad region were among the pioneers of this experiment. Then the visa was free, it was a little easier to get it, but even this is not the main thing,” said Koneev.

Now it is especially important to inform foreigners about the possibility of obtaining an electronic entry permit, and the structures of the Russian Foreign Ministry – embassies, consulates, and visa centers can help with this.

Committee for Tourism Development of St. Petersburg: the city does not have enough foreign tourists

Exhibition Holidays at the Expo Center in 2023

Korneev emphasized that neither travel companies in countries friendly to Russia nor travelers still know the nuances of obtaining an electronic visa to the Russian Federation.
“For example, in the countries of the Middle East, whose citizens are included in the list of those who can receive an electronic visa, there is still no idea about this mechanism or it is minimal. Therefore, it is necessary to improve the mechanism itself and conduct a serious information campaign abroad. For now They won’t learn about it until they understand how to work with it, until there is first-hand information, we won’t achieve a tangible effect,” said Korneev.
Irreplaceable foreignersThe northern capital lacks foreign tourists, the official says. In 2019, the city was visited by 5.5 percent of Russians and 4.9 percent of foreign travelers.

At the same time, foreigners “provided 60 percent of the turnover, they had a higher average bill.” Last year, 7.7 million Russians visited St. Petersburg.

St. Petersburg Tourism Development Committee: the city lacks foreign tourists

International Exhibition Holidays in 2023

According to Korneev, the city strive to increase seasonality through events and business events and is concerned about increasing the number of return tourists, the share of which has increased from 25 to 40 percent.
“However, if we look at the turnover of funds, then without foreign tourist flow it is extremely difficult for us to return to the numbers that were before the pandemic. To do this, we need to accept 15-20 million Russian tourists, which, of course, is simply unrealistic,” the official said.
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