The stunning Russian city of St Petersburg has been awarded the title of the World Travel Awards’ best tourist destination in Europe for two consecutive years, according to the official site of World Travel Awards.
About 1 million tourists and tourism experts voted for St Petersburg in 2016. The main parameters to determine a winner in this nomination are safety, infrastructure and hotel chains, Xinhua news agency reported.
St Petersburg is Russia’s biggest city after Moscow and ”The Historic Centre of Saint Petersburg and Related Groups of Monuments” constitute a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It is home to The Hermitage, one of the largest art museums in the world. According the World Travel Award’s website, the chairman of St Petersburg Committee for Tourism Development, Andrey Mushkarev collected the trophy at a glittering ceremony in Italy.
Since 2015, China leads in the number of foreign tourists visiting St Petersburg.
The announcement posted on the group’s website on September 4, and in addition to retaining its title, St Petersburg was also declared the host for the World Travel Awards Europe Gala Ceremony 2017.
“It will be an honour for World Travel Awards to visit for Russia for the first time in 2017,” said the awards group’s president Graham Cooke in a statement on the website.
“Saint Petersburg is one of the most famous cities in the world and this is a fantastic opportunity for the city to take its rightful place as a top rank tourism destination,” added Cooke.
World Travel Awards was established in 1993 to acknowledge, reward and celebrate excellence across all sectors of the tourism industry. Each year World Travel Awards covers the globe with a series of regional gala ceremonies staged to recognise and celebrate individual and collective successes within each key geographical region.