Along with Saint Petersburg, this year’s World Travel Awards named Amsterdam, Barcelona, Berlin, Edinburg, Istanbul, Lisbon, London, Paris, Porto, Yorkshire and three Italian cites of Rome, Florence and Venice as the world’s most attractive for tourism..
The World Travel Awards President Graham Cooke announced during the ceremony that all voters determined Saint Petersburg as the best destination on the continent which welcomes more and more foreign tourists from all over the world.
The city was represented by the tourism development committee’s chairman Andrew Mushkarev. "Such a prestigious award proves that the development of tourism in Saint Petersburg is at a high level," he noted. "We are proud to be recognized by the international community, proud Saint Petersburg is now not just a tourism capital for Russia, but for Europe as well."
Deputy Head of Russia’s Federal Tourism agency Sergei Korneev noted the importance of the Visit Russia programme, with Saint Petersburg becoming one of the first Russian cities to join. "Saint Petersburg certainly deserves this award," Korneev said. "This is the result of a lot of hard work local authorities do to promote their city in the world. Saint Petersburg is one of the first and most active members of the Visit Russia programme. So I believe that Visit Russia’s promotion of the country and the city of Saint Petersburg also contributed to this success."
The World Travel Awards was established in 1993 and is considered the most prestigious tourism award. Annually, it rewards nominees after thousands of tourists and specialists cast their vote in different categories. Defining criteria for nominees are city safety, developed infrastructure and hotel industry. The Wall Street Journal called the award as "the Oscars of the travel industry."