Russia’s second-largest city of St. Petersburg has outshined 11 other cities across Europe, who will play a host to Euro 2020 games, to be ranked the continent’s most popular destination for the period of the upcoming tournament.
One of the world's largest online travel and accommodation services companies, Booking.com, made a research to find out how the Euro 2020 has influenced on travel preferences of travelers.
Booking.com, the official Accommodation and Attractions Partner of UEFA Euro 2020, based its ranking on travelers' queries from across the globe and compiled a list of the most popular host cities for this year's event.
The survey revealed that an overwhelming majority of football aficionados from across the globe searched for accommodation facilities mostly in St. Petersburg for the period of the upcoming international tournament.
Euro 2020 – the ultimate soccer championship for European national teams – will take place between June 12 to July 12 in 12 cities across the continent. For the first time in history, the tournament will span the entire continent instead of games played in a single host country. Along with St. Petersburg, the matches of the first-ever Europe-wide edition of the European Championship will be held at stadiums in London (England), Munich (Germany), Rome (Italy), Baku (Azerbaijan), Bucharest (Romania), Amsterdam (the Netherlands), Dublin (Ireland), Bilbao (Spain), Budapest (Hungary), Glasgow (Scotland) and Copenhagen (Denmark).
The top 5 host cities of UEFA Euro 2020, according to Booking.com’s survey include:
- St. Petersburg
According to the global research made by Booking.com, last year, about 93 percent of football fans from Russia, who participated in the survey, made one to five trips to watch the game of their team, reported RIA Novosti. An overwhelming majority of Russian football fans takes sporting events seriously and never leaves the match until it ends, said 86 percent of respondents.
The survey also revealed that one-third of Russian fans, or 34 percent, believes in the power of talismans and take them to matches to bring luck. At the same time, some 17 percent of Russian respondents confirmed that they would happily cancel their honeymoon to travel and see their team live at an international tournament, while some other Russian respondents, precisely 11 percent, said that they would quit their jobs if this would guarantee them the opportunity to go to the stadium and watch the fateful game of their favorite team in the final.
Meanwhile, the Saint Petersburg Arena is fully ready to host four Euro 2020 games, including three group stage and one quarter-final matches. The 68,000-seat stadium is the second-largest sports complex in Russia behind the Luzhniki stadium that seats up to 81,000 spectators. The stadium, also known as Gazprom Arena, serves as a home for Russia’s Zenit football club.
Russia’s cultural and historic capital city of St. Petersburg, or “Peter” as locals say, is on par with New York, Paris and Rome when it comes to top global destinations for tourists. Russia’s cultural capital is famous not only for cultural, but also for sports achievements. It has already played a host to the 2018 FIFA World Cup. Saint Petersburg will also play a host to the final match of the 2021 Champions League of the UEFA.