The largest country in the world, Russia is a hot topic in the international media as host of the 2018 FIFA World Cup. As a beautiful nation with innumerable breathtaking sights and experiences to take in, Russia is currently undergoing a massive influx of tourists. Fans are arriving from all over the world to Russia’s major cities, each FIFA fan following matches to major national hubs including Moscow, Saint Petersburg, Kaliningrad, and Ekaterinburg.

To accommodate the masses, the 2018 FIFA World Cup has partnered with 
MATCH Accommodation 2018 as its main accommodation services provider. Soccer fans from every corner of the globe are booking through MATCH and staying in such glamorous hotels as Hotel Peter I in Moscow, Hyatt Regency Ekaterinburg, and Mirage, a luxury business hotel in Kazan.

A joyous and festive occasion, the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia has been remarkable for the nation’s tourism industry. For every dollar accumulated by the Russian economy in tourism, moreover, a marked change to the country’s accommodation industry has taken place.

The higher the price, the higher the scrutiny

Determined to maximize profit from the influx of tourists to the nation, hotels in Russia reportedly hiked up their fees by up to 18000 %, with one guesthouse in Kaliningrad being cited as charging 3125 English pounds for a three-room, one night stay. These prices are particularly reflected in the race for accommodation on the night of the England v Belgium match in Kaliningrad, to be held on June 28th. A pop-up camping site called “Camping for Tents” is possibly the best choice for England fans, located on the border of Petrovo, near Kaliningrad.

In response to inflated prices, Russia’s consumer protection agency, Rospotrebnadzor, has fined 539 hotels found guilty of surging rates in major match cities including Nizhny Novgorod, Moscow, Saint Petersburg and Kazan. The revelation came following the agency’s investigation of 11400 hotels, leading to the sanctions currently in place. The hotels were reportedly ordered to pay fines totaling 4.4 million rubles, or US$76000.

Bitcoin on the scene in Russia

The hospitality industries in key match cities are teaming up with Bitcoin and allowing tourists to pay their booking fees in cryptocurrency, pursuant to Russia’s new laws regarding the web-based currency. Hotels in Kaliningrad, a major match city set to host the England-Belgium match, have paired up with a local provider to allow the currency service.

Anna Subbotina, manager of Apartments Malina, has commented repeatedly on the increasing importance of cryptocurrencies on the international scene. “We have decided that fans should be able to pay for our services with the help of this innovative technology,” said Subbotina. The goal of this new venture – that is, the introduction of cryptocurrencies to the hospitality industry – is to incorporate bitcoin into the game with the utmost sensitivity, as the industry is known for its susceptibility to new trends.

Frequent Travelers

With the movements of FIFA fans around Russia at an all-time high, tourists and locals alike are often in need of accommodation in various cities. Planning a multi-tiered trip is no easy task with most meta-search platforms, and fans are almost guaranteed to want to stay close to the stadiums – creating another hurdle. In these scenarios, the Stay22 accommodation map is an ideal solution. With 6.5 million listings from hotels, hostels and Airbnbs worldwide, visible on an interactive map in relation to each stadium, FIFA fans can easily book lodging for each match.

The 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia is the hot topic of June and an excellent tourism opportunity for Russia as a whole. The nation’s accommodation industry, as a result, is in major flux.

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