Competition Increasing as Hotel Sector Continues to Develop
Published: December 5, 2012 (Issue # 1738)
During the last two years the development of the St. Petersburg hotel real estate market has advanced significantly, according to experts at consulting company Colliers International. Almost all hotels that were in the early stages of construction prior to the 2008 financial crisis have now entered the market.
In 2012 only one new hotel appeared in St. Petersburg — the five-star Domina Prestige St. Petersburg Hotel on the Moika embankment. It is the first hotel run by the international operator Domina Hotels Resorts to open in St. Petersburg.
The earlier announced openings of the Four Seasons hotel and The Hermitage hotel have again been delayed, according to data from consulting company Maris, part of the CBRE Affiliate Network.
There are now 127 hotels operating in the city, offering a total number of 18,400 rooms (this figure does not include mini-hotels, government-sponsored hotels and those located in the suburbs), according to Colliers International.
“Taking into account all hotels in the city, including economy class, we can say there are 6.8 rooms for every 1,000 city inhabitants,” said Natalya Kireyeva, senior analyst at the consulting and evaluation department of Maris.
“In Europe, the average figure is seven rooms. According to European standards, the ideal ratio is 10 to 12 rooms per 1,000 inhabitants. So St. Petersburg, with all it has to offer tourists, has potential for expanding its supply of hotel rooms. The city now lacks about 6,000 rooms,” she added.
“In 2013, six hotels of various categories will be launched on the market, with a total number of 1,174 rooms. These are mainly four-star hotels,” said Yelena Prozorova, consultant at Maris.
“Although the category most in demand is three-star hotels, most of the hotels being built are four- and five-star. There is a need for the development of the economy class market and hostel market,” she said.
In 2014 and 2015, Hilton Worldwide will open three hotels in St. Petersburg, according to Colliers International. Currently, 14 international hotel operators are represented on the city’s hotel market, managing 50 percent of the city’ rooms in hotels of three stars and above. Russian hotel chains are also developing in St. Petersburg. For example, the Oktyabrskaya, St. Petersburg and Olgino hotels have now united under one brand, according to Maris data.
Growing competition and higher requirements among guests have resulted in a number of existing hotels undergoing refurbishment. The Yuzhnaya hotel on Rastannaya Ulitsa has been renovated and reopened as the Bristol hotel, while the former Hotel Sovietskaya, now Hotel Azimut, is awaiting renovation. Next year the Neva hotel on Ulitsa Tchaikovskogo will be modernized and reopened as the boutique Hotel Indigo, according to Colliers International.
The development of boutique and spa-hotels is another feature of the local market, and the apartment-hotel rental sector is also expanding rapidly.
“Few hotels are currently being built in St. Petersburg because of the reduction in profit of the hotel segment and due to growth in competition,” said Kireyeva. “It takes far longer to break even in the hotel segment than in any other sector of commercial real estate.”
According to Colliers International data, 2012 should bring 5.9 million visitors to St. Petersburg, 50 percent of whom are business travelers. About 40 percent come to the city as tourists, according to Maris data.
Accommodation prices in St. Petersburg are among the highest in Europe and Russia. However, hotels in the northern capital are far from the most expensive ones. For example, Maris quotes Interfax data citing around 10,500 rubles ($340) per night for a hotel in Norilsk. According to Maris, St. Petersburg ranks 57th among Russian cities in terms of accommodation prices.
Depending on the season, the average daily room rate at St. Petersburg three-star hotels ranges from 2,550 to 4,500 rubles ($82 to $145), while a room in a four-star hotel costs from 4,500 to 8,000 rubles ($145 to $260) and prices for five-star hotel rooms vary from 11,000 to 19,500 rubles ($355 to $630), according to Maris. None of these prices include VAT.