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Hotel prices in Sochi, Russia, have more than doubled in the run up the Winter Olympics, according to a price comparison website.
Visitors to the Black Sea resort can expect to pay £163 ($221) per person per night at the peak of the games, a 144 per cent increase on the average price this month of £67 ($91), according to research by Trivago into 293 hotels in Sochi.
The Opening Ceremony, traditionally an impressive spectacle setting the tone for the games, marks the beginning of the 22nd Winter Olympics on February 7. However, this is when prices are at there most affordable at £136 ($184) per person per night, second only to a night’s stay on the day of the Closing Ceremony on February 23, which costs an average of £125 ($169).
The run up to the Winter Olympics has been marred by everything from alleged corruption and embezzlement to homophobia and a lack of snow. Yet it seems this has not dampened hoteliers’ optimism since the price hike is greater than that of London hotels before the city hosted the Olympics in 2012.
Denise Bartlett, UK PR manager at Trivago, said Sochi’s hotel prices were similar to other cities around the world but that the percentage increase was especially steep. “The maximum increase during London 2012 was 84 per cent, from an average of £185 ($250) during July 2011 to £340 ($460) during the games,” she said.
“However, this was when booking three months in advance. Closer to the event, hoteliers dropped their prices to fill up remaining availability and the increase amounted to just 14 per cent.”
She added that room availability was low in Sochi and it was possible hoteliers realised they are able to reach capacity so last minute price drops are unlikely.
One of the UK’s largest ski tour operators Crystal Ski is offering packages to Sochi, but has said availability is limited due to the number of test events before the games as well as the games itself and that those considering visiting should wait until late March. The skiing is across two resorts – Gazprom and Rosa Khutor.