Russia’s northern capital, Saint Petersburg, has been named the world’s leading cultural city destination for the third consecutive year. The award is traditionally handed out by the World Travel Awards (WTA).
Saint Petersburg, that once again justified its rank as the Russian cultural capital, triumphed over Beijing, London, New York City, Paris, the Ecuadorian capital of Quito, Rio de Janeiro, Rome, Sydney, and Venice.
The red carpet ceremony was held in the Portuguese capital of Lisbon. WTA annually awards leaders in tourism, airlines, and hotel and hospitality sectors. Ranked as the travel industry’s most prestigious awards programme, WTA was founded in 1993 and includes an international jury of hospitality experts and peers, mainly from the World Travel and Tourism Council.
Saint Petersburg became the world’s leading cultural city destination in both 2016 and 2017. In 2015, the WTA jury awarded the northern city the title of Europe’s leading destination. Earlier this year, the city won the title of Europe’s best cruise destination.
St. Petersburg, which is home to the Hermitage Museum and the Mariinsky Ballet, has been in focus of the prestigious award for its exceptionally rich history, centuries-old traditions, and bright future.
The cultural capital of Russia is stunningly attractive for travelers. The city is one of the most visited by both domestic and international tourists. In 2017, Saint Petersburg was visited by 7.2 million people compared to 6.9 million tourists in the previous year, according to the latest data by the city’s tourism committee.