Known as the cultural capital of Russia, Saint Petersburg once more won the title of "Europe’s Leading City Destination” at the World Travel Awards’ Europe Gala Ceremony 2017 held on September 30.
“St. Petersburg proved a wonderful host for our Europe Gala Ceremony, and I am sure the city will go on to take its rightful place as a top ranked tourism destination," said World Travel Awards Founder and President Graham Cooke. Factors such as safety, infrastructure and hotel and resort networks are all criteria for the Leading City Destination award.
The Europe Gala Ceremony, now in its 24th year, was held at the Russian Museum of Ethnography in St. Petersburg on Saturday.
While hosting this year’s event was a first for Russia, grabbing the title of “Europe’s Leading City Destination” was not. St. Petersburg won the title in 2015 and 2016, and Russia clinched awards in categories related to river cruises and hotels in years past.
The World Travel Awards were established in 1993 to acknowledge, reward and celebrate excellence across all sectors of the tourism industry.
Famous for its winding network of canals, Baroque and neoclassical architecture, and pastel-colored palaces, Russia’s second largest city is considered an epicenter of high art, lavish architecture and history. It has inspired and nurtured some of the modern world's greatest writers, musicians and visual artists.
Considered the cultural center of Russia, St. Petersburg was established at the beginning of the 18th century. Iconic locations include the Winter Palace, the Kazan Cathedral and the world-renowned art collection at the Hermitage.
Next year St. Petersburg’s Krestovsky Stadium, Russia’s second-largest, will be one of twelve venues across Russia to host games within the 2018 FIFA World Cup, the world’s premier football (soccer) tournament.