In 2015, Petersburg expects to receive more than 6.5 million tourists
At the end of 2015, tourists' flow to St. Petersburg could reach 6.6 million people, the head of the Municipal Committee for Tourism Development Inna Shalyto said at a press conference in the news agency "Interfax North-West" on Thursday.
"I hope that we will be in the range of 6.5-6.6 million tourists. In previous years, the most significant figures that we have reached were 6.3 million", Inn Shalyto said.
"The tourist season is still going, it is going well. The major players of the hotel industry in the middle segment, and in the higher price segment have now full load. This fact we have not seen for many years", she said.
"We see quite a slight drop at the end of the year (in tourist traffic - IF) of foreigners. In September, we were given numbers in the region of 5% (decrease in the number of foreign tourists - IF), today they all fell, and there are literally within the error compared to 2014 year. It should be understood that in 2014, the base was quite low," Inna Shalyto explained.
According to her, the most positive results of foreign tourists' traffic the cruise segment demostrated.
"There is a program of stay without a visa within 72 hours of tourists arriving by sea, which is used widely by cruise tourists. The increase in tourists' traffic in the segment of passenger ferries arriving within the visa-free for 72 hours, the head of the Committee assessed in the current season in 30%.
Further growth prospects of foreign tourist traffic in St. Petersburg is associated with the spread of the regime of visa-free stay for 72 hours for travelers arriving by other modes of transport, as well as an increase in the flow from the Middle East and Southeast Asia.
Inna Shalyto noted the reduced number of tourists from the US, Canada, Japan, but growing number of tourists from Australia, South Korea. "Iranian tourists have become significant," she said, adding that she considers promising and welcome tourists from Bahrain.
At the same time, the growth of the flow of Russian tourists to St. Petersburg at the end of 2015, an estimated I.Shalyto may reach 20%. "All accredited museums (the Hermitage, the State Museum" Peterhof ", St. Isaac's Cathedral - IF) showed an increase from 10% to 25% on tickets purchased through travel agencies. About 25% was the growth of applications in our tourist information office", she explained.