Visitors to Saint Petersburg may face overbooking during high season and be forced to stay at another hotel despite the fact they had paid for a concrete room months before. An industry media outlet reported stories when travel agents who had paid for rooms at five star hotels long before the 2016 summer season were forced to look for another accommodation for their clients because of overbooking.
As the HotLine website (http://hotline.travel/Konflikty/148525/oteli_khotyat_otpravit_ostrovok_v_otstavku) wrote, in June, a few St. Petersburg travel companies, including worldwide operator Thomas Cook’s subsidiary, faced refusals from hotels to accommodate companies’ clients from abroad. There are two interesting facts here: a) rooms were not merely confirmed but paid for several months earlier; b) it’s all about luxury hotels. The hotels were not named in the report since the travel companies do not want to break business relations amid the high season.
The travel agents themselves are referring to wrong forecasts by hoteliers regarding the number of incoming visitors and a wish to earn as much as possible as to the main reasons of the incidents. Hoteliers are reportedly receiving calls from wealthy clients from Iran and China who are ready to pay some more to buy rooms that are already had been sold, say travel agents. Business cultures in Iran, China and Russia are similar to some degree, we mean, formal rules are secondary to the opportunity of taking advantage of the conjuncture.
What we can advise here is to be ready to stay at a hotel which your travel agent will find for you instead of the one you’d paid for and to ask for some compensation in the form of a free excursion or dinner at a high-end restaurant. That’s what travel agents now offer to their clients who suffered from a change of a hotel.
You also can read our post about accommodation in St. Petersburg and here is a post about best hotels 2015 by TripAdvisor’s visitors.
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