MOSCOW, October 30. /TASS/. More than half (60%) of hotel suites in Moscow have already been booked by fans for the 2018 FIFA World Cup, the Moscow mayor’s and city hall’s portal reported on Monday.
"Football fans, as well as official FIFA delegations, have booked more than 40,000 suites in Moscow hotels for the 2018 FIFA World Cup. This is about 60% of the total hotel room capacity of more than 67,000 suits. Football fans started actively booking rooms for the championship in September, when FIFA started selling tickets for the matches on its website," the report says.
"Football fans tend to book inexpensive hotels most often. There hardly any inexpensive mini-hotels and hostels still available in the city center for the 2018 World Cup matches. Many of these suites were not just booked, but have been paid for already," the mayor’s website quoted the head of the Moscow Sports and Tourism Department, Nikolay Gulyaev, as saying. He added that the ratio of foreign fans may change after the December final draw of the participating teams, which will determine which cities the teams will play in. However, many championship guests opt for Moscow as the main location base.
Presently, more than 1,100 hotels with 67,700 rooms have made the grade for the 2018 World Cup, and 31 of them were awarded a five-star status. Fans from the US and China are snapping up suits, even though both those countries’ teams will not be performing at the championship.
"The department specified that in case the capital lacks reasonably priced hotel rooms, tourists will be able to book hotels in nearby Moscow suburban towns, for example in Krasnogorsk, Odintsovo, Khimki, Lobnya, Zvenigorod and others. The department is also negotiating with large ship operators. River vessels are rather frequently used as flotels during massive sports events to compensate for the lack of hotel rooms," the mayor’s site reported. The city authorities are also monitoring hotels’ websites and room booking systems on the internet to prevent price gouging.
The 2018 FIFA World Cup matches will run from June 14 to July 15 in 11 Russian cities: Moscow, St. Petersburg, Kazan, Nizhny Novgorod, Saransk, Kaliningrad, Volgograd, Yekaterinburg, Samara, Sochi and Rostov-on-Don.