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Russian Hotels Hike Prices by up to 5,000% for World Cup

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A zero-star hotel in one of 11 Russian cities hosting the 2018 FIFA World Cup this summer has raised its price by more than 5,000 percent, Russia’s tourism industry watchdog has said. 

Russia's Federal Tourism Agency pledged last month to publish a public blacklist of hotels that hike their prices for the 2018 World Cup. Prices for hotel rooms in the cities of Volgograd and Saransk, among others, had already risen 40 times before the list was compiled.

Hotel Agora, in Russia’s westernmost exclave of Kaliningrad, topped the agency’s blacklist released on Tuesday. It listed a price of almost 130,000 rubles ($2,300) for a room on a booking website instead of the state-regulated 2,400 rubles ($42).

The Tikhiye Sady hotel in Rostov-on-Don ranked second with a price hike of 2,581 percent, followed by another zero-star hotel in Kaliningrad with a surcharge of 1,171 percent.

In Moscow, Hotel Petrovka 17 jacked up its price by 399 percent, followed by 11 others that raised prices an average of 100 percent.

Hotel Agora’s administrator Svetlana Ovchinnikova said the 5,000 percent price hike was inadvertent.

“System failures happen, don’t they?” she told the RBC business portal.

Based on ticket sales and requests, at least 1.5 million foreign tourists are expected to visit Russia during the World Cup between June 14 and July 15. The Federal Agency for Tourism estimates that they will spend up to $2 billion during their time in the country, TASS reported.

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