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HTLroundtable ukraine+ - snapshot 2015

25 May 2015

Radisson Blu Hotel Kiev, 22 May 2015

Thirty hotel and tourism professionals met at the annual HTLroundtable ukraine+ (Ukraine + Belarus), which was hosted by Michael Widmann and Andreas Martin from PKF hotelexperts Vienna and Sergii Kozhukhalov and Natalia Anistratova from PKF hotelexperts' representative office in Kiev. For the seventh time the event took place at the Radisson Blu Hotel, Kiev, which was for many years the only hotel in Kiev operated by an international operator. Since 2009, when the series of now close to 100 HTLroundtable events was initiated in Kiev, the city has attracted new international hotels to the market, like a second Radisson Blu, Hyatt, Intercontinental, Fairmont and, just last year, a Hilton. With only three international economy to mid-scale hotels like Ramada Encore, Ibis and Holiday Inn, there is clearly an unbalanced supply of "affordable" accommodation compared to the upscale and luxury segment. However, at the same time, local brands like Premier or Reikartz have entered the market and individual lifestyle hotels like 11 mirrors, a member of Design Hotels, are attracting both national and international demand.

But with the annexation of Crimea and the ongoing conflict in Eastern Ukraine, leisure and corporate tourism into Kiev has declined dramatically. STR reports that average occupancy went down from 50 % in 2013 to 31% in 2014. And since the average rate dropped from €120 to €101, revpar levels in Kiev have declined by almost €30! In addition to these difficult market conditions, Darren Blanchard, from The Rezidor Hotel Group, reported that Rezidor was forced to pull out of the management of the former Radisson Blu Resort in Alushta in Crimea due to
EU-sanctions. And this happened just a few months after the hotel was successfully extended and repositioned.

Participants agreed with Michael Widmann's conclusion at the end of the discussion:"It can only get better!" The largest European country by territory, with cities like Kiev, Lviv or Odessa, definitely deserves a recovery soon.

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