While Saint Petersburg is enjoying an extremely successful tourist season that lasted from late April till late September this year, hoteliers are thinking of enhancing prices for next year. Some industry sources say that it will help reduce the number of Chinese visitors that flooded the city and occupied the middle segment by paying in advance and thus leaving the hotels without the possibility for a flexible pricing during a hot season.
6.5 million tourists visited St. Petersburg last year, 2016 is predicted to see 7 million. The leisure industry was not ready to the fullest to accept such a growth, and in the summer some guests were forced to change a hotel despite an advance booking and payment.
For a period from January to September, city hotels’ occupancy rates rose to 69%, +2.7% to the year 2015, ARD increased by 20% till $100, RevPAR went up by 25% to $68, according to the report of a real estate website Arendator.ru
A leader in profitability dynamics is the middle-priced segment with occupancy rate of 67% (+4%), ARD of $51 (+24%) and an increase in RevPAR by 31%, Arendator’s data show.
This September rather unexpectedly proved to be a strong off-season month.
In 2016, 314 new rooms have been added to the market in addition to more than 30.000 in existing facilities. 2017 is said to see new openings within a range of three to five stars, including big international brands like Hilton.
Well, have you followed the link above to the news about overbooking this summer? Local hoteliers naturally want to enjoy themselves with the pleasant conjuncture and get a bigger piece of pie from it. As local media reported, the industry is going to increase prices for 2017 by 15-25%. Such a move will reportedly limit the number of Chinese tourists which buy everything in advance by discounted prices. Amid growing interest to St. Petersburg, hoteliers are evidently changing their commercial tactics trying to sell less for small money and more for bigger money. There were cases reported in the media about wealthy Iranians who agreed to pay a lot of money to buy a room that had been already sold to someone else (usually to an European). And they succeeded.
Interestingly, that St. Petersburg’s authorities are making great efforts to attract more visitors from China by opening a special tourist information office in Beijing this week. From 150.000 Chinese guests this year, in 2017, the authorities predict, the traffic will be 200.000.
What’s the logic behind the shift in hoteliers’ commercial policies?
Firstly, the ruble anyway stands low to the dollar and euro making it visiting Russia more attractive for Americans and most Europeans than just a couple of years ago.
Secondly, FIFA Confederation Cup 2017 will undoubtedly boost occupancy rates in late June and early July next year though they would be near a 100% level anyway. Up to now, 7 of 8 participants of the tournament are known: Russia, Portugal, Germany, Chile, Mexico, New Zealand and Australia. The newly-built Krestovsky stadium will host four matches including the final one which is likely to feature Germany and someone else, perhaps Portugal or Chile. In any case, higher occupancy rates are guaranteed.
We can give only one advice here: book your hotel in St. Petersburg as early as possible.
Buy the way, for the period of the FIFA Confederations Cup accommodation prices are limited by FIFA.