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City news, 20.04.2004 13:52

Saint-Petersburg expects 5 million visitors by 2007

Saint-Petersburg expects 5 million visitors by 2007 Saint Petersburg is projecting that five million tourists will visit the city in 2007, Viktor Pakhomov, chairman of the city's Tourism Committee, told an international conference meeting here on Monday. In addressing the conference--Saint Petersburg-300: Russia's Cultural Megalopolis in the World of Tourism--Pakhomov said the World Trade Organization believes that tourism growth in Russia will outstrip that of other countries. 'We are seeing this happening,' Pakhomov said.

Pakhomov went on: 'Thus, last year Saint Petersburg was recognized as the most attractive city in Northern Europe for cruise visitors. There was a 15%-18% rise in such tourism in Saint Petersburg last year, as compared with the city's average tourism increase of 6%-8% a year.' He said there were 270 cruise dockings in Saint Petersburg last year, with 210,000 tourists and 90,000 crew aboard, a rise of 20%-30% over 2002. Moreover, cruise visitors stay, on average, 2-3 days in Saint Petersburg, rather than the typical 1 day at other stops.

Pakhomkov also said the city is working to make the city more attractive for tourists. For example, the city's Tourism and Culture committees, in conjunction with Peterburgsky Metropoliten and other organizations, are preparing a museum and public transportation discount card for visitors. Also in the works: a single tourism logo for the city. Moreover, the city's leading hotels are working on a 'White Days' program to boost winter tourism. And he said the city would be giving more attention to improving its tourist information services. Tourism is now basic to the city's economy and accounts for 7%-9% of total city output, Pakhomov said.

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