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City news, 21.04.2004 14:19

Saint-Petersburg's water trams will go to work in May

Saint-Petersburg's water trams will go to work in May The public transportation season on the rivers and canals of Saint Petersburg starts in May, Viktor Pakhomov, chairman of the city's Tourism Committee, announced Monday at a session of Saint Petersburg-300: Russia's Cultural Megalopolis in the World of Tourism, an international conference meeting here. The fleet of five vessels will originate at a variety of points around the city and run on regular schedules.

Pakhomov also revealed that his committee is working on a plan for infrastructure improvements, mostly hotel-related, that would be included in the city's new general plan for development. 'In 2003, 3.2 million foreign visitors came to our city,' Pakhomov said, 'and, for the first time, September turned out to be a high season, with hotels at 80%-90% and sometimes 100% of capacity.' This probably reflected the situation arising from celebration of the city's 300th anniversary. In the face of limited amount of lodging places in summer, tourist companies rescheduled some tours into September.

Currently, there are some 200 public lodging places in the city, with a total of 17,000 rooms, he said. Fifty new lodging places opened in 2003. 'Not all of these can be classified as hotels,' Pakhomov said. 'For the most part, these are mini-hotels, but they do serve tourists.'

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