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Russian Hotel and Hospitality Market

Demand is fast outpacing the meager supply, with the hotel industry unable to accommodate about 30-50 percent of in-bound travelers, according to the Russian Union of Tourist Industry. (5) Moscow alone needs to double its hotel capacity by 2010, while the current demand for quality hotel space in Saint Petersburg is 30,000 beds in addition to the 30,000 existing beds.

With Western hotel brands still absent in virtually all of Russia's regional cities, it does not take much to become the destination of choice for quality-conscious travelers. According to Collier International, "unless global brands enter the market now, they will probably find that they have very strong competition." "If you build a Westernstandard mid-market hotel in any of those regional cities, it will be the best hotel in town." "You don't have to spend $200,000 per room to be the best hotel; you can spend $100,000 and still be No. 1."


Some experts estimate the Russian hotel market at 2 billion dollars a year. The highest level of unfulfilled demand is for quality three star and economy hotels. To date, the market of mid-tier and budget hotels has not developed to satisfy the demand of both Russian and foreign middle-class business travelers and an ever increasing number of tourists. Part of the clientele that stays at upscale hotels would move to less expensive properties if supply were offered.

The middle class and economy class hotel niche offers the most promising perspectives throughout Russia and it is expected to boom in the next several years. This is due also to the fact that some of the old Soviet-time hotels have either already been demolished or closed, thus significantly decreasing Moscow's total room stock. Reduction in the mid-range due to the elimination of old room stock is not compensated by new hotel supply additions. Mid-priced U.S. hotel chains have an excellent reputation with Russian business travelers and will undoubtedly find a market in Russia's major cities and resort towns.
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