As Ukraine improves infrastructure, hotels look to develop5 Dec, 2012 By: Jena Tesse Fox
As the country comes into its own as a destination (helped by the 2012 European football championships held in partnership with Poland this summer), Ukraine is seeing some notable advancements in hotel developments, with both major brands and boutique properties opening their doors.
Infrastructure and Numbers
According to TheLawyer.com, Ukraine saw 1.8 million tourists in 2012, mostly due to the sporting event. Since the championships were financed predominantly by the Ukrainian government, along with money Ukraine borrowed on the international markets, the government put some exemptions in place to facilitate construction projects in the country, such as tax exemptions for hotel projects and on imported goods. Unfortunately, these moves "changed little in the longer term" and did not promote foreign investment in the country, the story notes, but the tax exemptions for hotels are still in effect.
Boris Kolesnikov, Ukraine’s deputy prime minister in charge of infrastructure, told the Financial Times that the country has built five new airports in 18 months and that courtesy of a $5 billion government investment in infrastructure ahead of the tournament, thousands of miles of Ukrainian roads were repaved. A handful of modern passenger trains purchased from South Korea’s Hyundai rolled on to the railways, cutting travel times within the country by more than one-third, and private investors pumped about $1 billion into building hotels.
Major brands are investing in Ukraine hotels. Earlier this year, the Fairmont Grand Hotel Kyiv made its debut, the luxury brand’s first hotel in Eastern Europe. The city already has several luxury hotels from global brands, including a Hyatt Regency, an InterContinental and a Radisson Blu.
Last year, Starwood opened three new hotels in Russia and CIS, including its debut in Ukraine. Looking ahead, Starwood plans to expand its operations in CIS countries and open the 196-room Sheraton Kyiv Olympiysky hotel in Ukraine's capital in 2013.
Marriott, meanwhile, will make its entrance into Ukraine with the new Renaissance Hotel in Kiev, which will operate under a management agreement with Subsidiary Enterprise Grand Plaza. The historic building, situated on Vladimirskaya Street, one of Kiev’s main thoroughfares, has been vacant for a number of years and the refurbishment is expected to be completed by mid-2013. According to Equities.com, the hotel will have 173 guestrooms, a restaurant, destination bar, function room and meeting rooms.
Independent properties are also taking note: 11 Mirrors, the first member of Design Hotels in the Ukraine, just celebrated its grand opening in Kiev in a restored 19th century building. The 49-room hotel is the brainchild of Wladimir Klitschko and architect and designer Anatoliy Kirik and Marina Leo.
Topic : Kiev, Kyiv, Ukraine, Hotels in Ukraine
External Source : Equities.com, Financial Times, Luxury Travel Advisor, TheLawyer.com