Hilton has signed a franchise agreement with Eastern Group to open the DoubleTree by Hilton Irkutsk Central Park next year.
The 186-room hotel—Hilton’s first in the city—will be part of the city center’s multi-use Novy complex.
The Irkutsk DoubleTree will join the Hilton’s growing portfolio of more than 50 properties, including 11 DoubleTrees, trading or under development throughout Russia.
Starting in 2008, Hilton opened its doors in two Russian locations, claiming the country as one of its main focus markets, according to Phil Cordell, global head of focused service brands for Hilton. The company has signed several local franchise and management agreements in Russia's major target cities, including Moscow, Volgograd, Novosibirsk, Rostov-on-Don and Ufa.
“In the first half of 2016, Hilton became the leading international brand to open hotels in the Russian market,” Cordell said in a statement,
Other franchise agreements include Hilton’s deal with Dalreostroy for the Hilton Garden Inn Khabarovsk and its deal with Vnukovo Hotels CJSC for the 432-room DoubleTree by Hilton Moscow Vnukovo Airport.
To determine their next move, the company conducts in-depth research of the population size in order to meet Russia’s consumer market demands. “Most of our hotels in Russian cities with populations near one million people have between 120 and 195 rooms. In Moscow—population of 11.92 million—we have more than 270 rooms. Before opening a hotel, the team always studies the potential demand from tourists and business travelers, as well as the local hospitality market’s saturation,” Cordell said.
Several openings completed or set for this year include the Hilton Garden Inn Moscow Krasnoselskaya, the Hilton St. Petersburg ExpoForum, the DoubleTree by Hilton Moscow Vnukovo Airport and two Hilton Garden Inns in Novorossiysk and Orenburg.