For the third consecutive year St. Petersburg was named the best tourist destination in Russia according to the Travelers’ Choice rating on the travel website TripAdvisor.
"The Northern Capital not only retained its leadership in the Russian list, but also improved its position in the European list, rising from 9th to 8th place, and from 17th to 14th place in the global rankings,” the Committee for the Development of Tourism of the city said.
In 2015, St. Petersburg was visited by 6.5 million Russian and foreign tourists - this is the best figure in the history of domestic tourism: the city was able to increase tourist flow by 20%. The number of foreign tourists amounted to about 2.8 million, the increase was mainly achieved due to visitors from Asian countries, especially China.
The most impressive growth dynamics, according to the Tourism Development Committee, showed domestic tourism: in 2015 St. Petersburg was visited by more than 3 million Russians. The growth amounted to 25-30% compared to 2014. According to the North-Western Regional branch of the Russian Union of Travel Industry, the city enjoys the greatest popularity among residents of the Urals, Central and Southern federal districts, the Crimean population shows a growing interest in St. Petersburg.
Peterhof sets records
The most popular tourist destination in St. Petersburg - the famous "capital of fountains" Peterhof. In 2015 the attendance record was set here as well - 5.2 million tourists. The greatest interest in the palace complex among foreigners showed the Chinese, the Americans, the French and the Japanese. Tourists are attracted not only by the fountains, but the new museums, which with the help of modern technology, present court life scenes from the XVIII-XIX centuries and the reconstruction of the opera circa 1750s.
The peak tourist season in St. Petersburg traditionally accounts for the period of white nights, but the city authorities have set the task of combating seasonality - the city developed a program of the autumn and winter tourism. It develops cruise, yacht, dining, event and business tourism. St. Petersburg has set the task to enter the top 10 congress centers in Europe and in the top 20 – globally by 2020.
In 2015, a lot of new tourist routes appeared in St. Petersburg, designed for any range of interests - for interested in history, culture, religion. Football fans can select the route "Football St. Petersburg", and animal lovers will be interested in the program "The cats of St. Petersburg" to meet with the famous Hermitage cats.