NO QUICK SOLUTION: MOSCOW LACKS HOTEL ROOMS

Theodore Slate - Oct 31, 2011
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The Russian capital faces the lack of accommodation facilities – especially regarding budget hotels. Administrative obstacles currently prevent any solution to be quickly applied.

Moscow authorities plan increasing the number of inbound tourists by 1.5 times in the coming years. However, the city faces considerable lack of accommodation facilities. Currently there are only three to four hotel rooms per thousand of people. However tourism experts agree that there is no quick solution for the accommodation problems in the Russian capital.

Officials admit that thanks to the amount of constructions in the historical center there is almost no chance to develop new mini-hotels. The problem is further complicated by bureaucratic obstacles and difficulties with the allocation of construction land appropriate for the purpose.

New budget hotels would however not require enormous investments. A small hostel of the lowest class would cost several thousand of dollars; an investment of around 1-2 million dollars would be required for a small hotel located in attractive surroundings.

The city authorities taking into account all administrative obstacles announced their interest in pre-fabricated modular hotels. They should be built in areas farther from the downtown, but close to the subway or park areas.

Other ideas were also considered. "We could, for example, convert some dormitories to hostels,” said Sergey Shpilko from the Moscow Tourism Committee, quoted by Rbcdaily.ru. Another option are hotels built on unused boats, the so called botels. "The main advantage of botels is small rent of water area cost – only about one dollar per thousand square meters per year,” commented Shpilko.

However the use of botels would be probably complicated by environmental regulations. Old boats might contaminate water, and building new ones would cost at least 1.5 thousand dollars per square meter, which is almost the same as the ground construction.

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