Intro : “There are no international unified standards for awarding stars to hotels,” said Sergei Korneyev, director for the northwest at the Russian Tourism Industry Union. * Each country has its own system, and it is very inconvenient for tourists, since, for example, Egyptian stars differ from European ones. There have been many misunderstandings.

WHAT IS :An hotel ranking is a system, taking into account a full range of factors including quality of accommodation, range of amenities, standards of service, atmosphere and prices as well as customers experience, and feedback in order to classify hotels There are currently about 30 national systems of hotel classification around the world. * Among them are the letters system used in Greece and the crowns system used in the U. K. , though the most widespread system is the star classification * While all hotels in Moscow claim a specific number of stars, there is no reliable, universal system of classification in operation.

This can often lead to unrealistic expectations, disappointment, and it may be hard to know what to expect from your hotel in terms of standards, services, and amenities as a first-time travelers to Russia. Suchi Hotels first and then the entire country of Russia * Since July 2010 Sochi hotels were obliged to classify themselves by the demands of the International Olympic Committee (classification as the country gears up to host the 2014 Winter Olympic Games). The Governor of Krasnodar region decided to first expand this requirement to the whole region and now to the whole country.

As new legislation passes, starting this summer season of 2012 only star-rated hotels were able to accommodate tourists. A little bit of History: * The first attempts to introduce classification standards in Russia were made in the Soviet era. In 1984, a document was drawn up dividing hotels into seven categories. The regulation existed until 1994 and was followed by three more certification documents. Finally, in 2005, a new system of state classification of hotels and guesthouses was launched, taking into account European experience. Previously, Russian hotels obtained star-category classification on a voluntary basis, but obtaining certification became obligatory after an order signed in June 2010.

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* There are 471 officially certified hotels in Russia — about 10 percent of the total number of 4,500 hotels, according to data from the Federal Tourism Agency. From Yesterday to Today: Review of the principal changes * It appears that often ‘stars’ in Russia were given after considering formalities and did not reflect real comfort and service level. The main difference between the new and old classification systems is that, now, the expert appraisal and assignment of a Hotel to a particular category will be carried out by special organizations accredited by government agencies * Prior the classification of Hotels in Russia was carried out under a voluntary classification system that was approved by the Federal Agency for Tourism (Rosturizm) in 2005 and largely based on standards and rules that were set back in the 1990s * Many hotels that are located in old buildings will need to invest a lot in engineering infrastructure and additional facilities to get the necessary number of points to obtain the certification and get the stars they want.

Hotel Assesment Criteria: Each hotel will be awarded a number of points depending on the number of rooms and the services offered. * The requirements, relate to various aspects of Hotel operations: layout, condition of rooms, range and quality of services offered, etc. * For example: -A standard single room in a “five-star” hotel must be at least 14 m? in area, and the Hotel must also have a conference room with the relevant equipment. The waiting time for an elevator in four- and five-star hotels should be no more than 30 seconds, or 45 seconds in a three-star hotel. * The classification will be a paid procedure, and mandatory certification is expected to cost less than voluntary classification about ( today $1,500 for three- to four-star hotels with less than 100 rooms) * Hotels that fail to declare their status under the new rules will pay a fine, * Hotels without certification won’t have the right to use their unofficial rating in advertisements, and furthermore, limits may be applied to the activity of such hotels * ————————————————-

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Certificates will be issued for five years, but hotels will have to reaffirm their status twice a year. Just a few more things to remind: (only on the power point) Luxury Hotels * world-class 5-star hotels * Either Historic Moscow Hotels or Moscow branches of well-known international brands at the very top of the hotel market. Deluxe Hotels * executive standard 4-star or 5-star hotels * Must be centrally situated. Superior Hotels * International 4-star ratings. * If Superior Hotels are not centrally located, then they must have good transport links to the city. Standard Hotels * International 3-star standards, including many new or fully renovated Russian hotels.  Standard Hotels are rarely central Tourist Class Hotels * Often built in the Soviet period, hotels of this class may not be fully renovated. * Representing the cheapest accommodation widely available in Russia *

International 2-star standards * Situated in modern buildings in the suburbs. Budget Hotels * low-cost accommodation * No services are guaranteed. Conclusion: Classifications under the new system: mandatory or voluntary? * At present, the new classification system is applicable to all Hotels, but is mandatory only for Hotels offering the relevant services within the municipality of the city/resort of Sochi. * We note that the changes to he Hotel classification rules and the mandatory classification procedure for certain Hotels is without any doubt related to the XXII Olympic Winter Games being held in Russia.

* We believe that the overall trend for the introduction of international standards in many sectors in Russia is connected with the ambition to join the World Trade Organization. For the Future: What’s next? * The World Hotel Rating (WHR) project, aims at setting international classification standards and rating criteria along the lines of a world star-rating system. * This project will establish an information platform on the hotel industry which will be multilingual and multicultural. * WHR intends to play a key role in the development of quality hotel services