Feb. 21 – The French Accor Group, an international hotel operator, increased its presence in Russia by opening the three-star, 220-bed Ibis Nizhny Novgorod. The operator also plans to open up three more hotels in the region within two years, business weekly Vedomosti- Nizhny Novgorod reports.
“It took one and a half years to build the new hotel on Gorkiy Street in the city’s downtown,” Phillip Bon, chief development officer at Accor Hospitality, said to the paper. The hotel offers one bedroom suites at prices starting from US$100 per day during weekdays and US$90 during weekends, and a family suite for US$167 per day. The managing company expects a 70 percent occupancy rate.
“The occupancy rate in our hotel in Kazan city is equal to 75 percent and even higher in Moscow and St. Petersburg at 83 percent,” Bon said.
The next project for Accor Group in Nizhny Novgorod is going to be the five-star, 180-room MGallery Inn, which will replace the old Moscow hotel by 2014.
The French hotelier is planning its third hotel to be erected in one of the industrial towns of the Nizhegorodsky region.
The Accor Group’s long-term development plans for Russia include opening three to five proprietarily managed hotels a year in regional centers and industrial hubs including those with populations less than 1 million.
Hotels in Samara and Yaroslav are scheduled for opening this year. Alexis Delaroff, director of operations at Accor Russia – CIS, told RusBusinessNews that a 150-room Ibis hotel will appear in Chelyabinsk city after 2012.
The local business community supposes that other foreign investors will hardly follow the French hotelier.
“Investors won’t hurry up due to the long term pay back of investment (from 6 to 10 years), and cause of risks that right after the World Cup hotels will turn out to be half empty,” Yury Kuzmichev, head of Ready-made Business Shop company said.
According to Russian government data, the volume of investment from France to Russia has grown more than eight fold over the past five years and in March 2010 exceeded US$8 billion, including more than US$2 billion in direct investment.