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Moscow Hotels World's Most Expensive, Emptiest

Moscow retained its ranking as the city with the most expensive average hotel room rate in the world, a survey by business travel agency Hogg Robinson Group showed.

The average rate in the city in the first half was £256.83 ($407), Hogg Robinson said in a report on its web site Friday. Geneva followed as the second-most expensive city at £199.11, and closely trailed by Hong Kong at £197.61.

“Moscow yet again retains its place as the city with the highest average room rate for the sixth year, despite a fall of 12 percent when measured in local currency,” Hogg Robinson spokeswoman Margaret Bowler said in the report.

Similar findings were reached by Knight Frank, which put the average rate for four- to five-star hotels at $237 in the second quarter — also the most expensive worldwide. The indicator was $230 for Paris and $216 for Berlin and London.

But in addition to being the most expensive, the Knight Frank survey put Russian hotels among the emptiest. The average occupancy of hotels in the Russian capital stood at 58.5 percent during the second quarter, compared with 75.4 percent in Paris, 84.7 percent in London, and 65.8 percent in Warsaw.

The high prices scare away many potential clients for Moscow hotels, said Natalya Shlyuyeva, a spokeswoman for Knight Frank. But even with such a low occupancy rate, the profitability of Moscow hotels is on par with those in Europe, she said.

The occupancy rate rose slightly from the second quarter of last year, however. Five-star hotels saw a growth of 2.7 percentage points to 54.6 percent, while the occupancy of four-star hotels rose 4 percentage points to 50.4 percent.

(Bloomberg, Vedomosti)

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