Good afternoon, dear readers!
This is Pavel Gammer, and today, I would like to share with you my thoughts about the near-term outlooks of the Russian hotel and catering business. In my opinion, the upcoming year promises to become golden in this industry, because alongside with the long-awaited resumption of economic growth, the country would take the largest sports event of the year – 2018 FIFA World Cup that would attract hundreds of thousands fans from around the world. Therefore, Russian colleagues get an excellent opportunity to earn money, finally to overcome the consequences of the crisis, and to check the level of service in their restaurants completely free of charge due to the feedback from foreign tourists.
Even the most diehard skeptics would not argue with the fact that one could earn money in the hotel and catering business in Russia. Unsustainable projects left the market the long time ago, and the remaining players use the schemes that are able to bring profit even under the decreased consumer purchasing power. It is not a secret that lots of my colleagues worked almost “to zero,” but positive trends of 2017 already allowed them to increase profit margins. In the largest cities, Moscow and St. Petersburg, key performance indicators are gradually returning to pre-crisis levels. For hoteliers, the development of domestic tourism became a helping hand in tough times related to the devaluation of the ruble and multiple limitations on the abroad vacations.
The apparent demand remains the key to the restoration of the whole industry, but colleagues count on the peak demand during the FIFA World Cup in June-July. Their expectations do not appear without reason: foreign fans would hardly be as lavish as Russians abroad, but their number and payment capacity are beyond argument. Hotels and restaurants in the cities of the World Cup have already started preparing special offers and specific features for the guests of the championship. It is the sound decision, as in the hot summer days, the competition would be extremely high, and the revenue in this month could become unprecedented. Even the government assumed remarkable measures giving fans the free travel between tournament cities, so full houses would occur not only at the stadiums but also in hotels, bars, and restaurants.
What could prevent one from using the opportunities for growth?
After three difficult years, Russian restaurateurs and hoteliers are seriously counting on high profits. Foreign fans could provide good cash for any facility, but they frequently make higher demands for the level of service than Russians. Moreover, it is crucially important to know cultural characteristics of tourists from different countries to avoid incidents. The European press constantly discusses high prices in Russian hotels and the accessibility of food outlets in cities that take the World Cup. One says that the key problem is the language barrier, especially in the cities that usually do not get much attention from the foreign visitors. Consequently, one should make serious preparations to derive benefit from the next summer!
Some guests will be happy to see habitual Italian, French or Japanese cuisine in the distant country, but lots of visitors would like to discover the gastronomic side of Russia. For instance, many tourists come to Tallinn every year to see the restaurants of their national cuisine in the streets of the Old Tallinn, but the most solvent audience demonstrates the interest in the local cuisine, gastronomic peculiarities, and traditional meals and beverages. With the proper approach, Russian cuisine and national dishes of different peoples of Russia (games will take place in Tatarstan, Mordovia, the Caucasus, and the Urals) will definitely attract the attention of foreigners and those Russians who are going to travel from city to city for the best teams in the world.
I believe that tough times will remain in the previous year, and in the new one, I wish all of us strengths and inspiration for good work and excellent earnings! But, first of all, I wish peaceful skies over our heads, prosperity, love, and harmony in families, good health, and happiness! Happy upcoming 2018, dear ladies and gentlemen!
See you in the New Year!
Respectfully yours, Pavel Gammer (Tallinn).