real estate

Hotel hunting goes online

13.02.2012 | By Ihor Levenstein

Ukraine and Poland expect some 1.4 mn guests to attend EURO 2012 games. The estimates are based on the capacities of the host stadiums and ticket sales. However, there will be fans without tickets that will simply travel to host cities of the tournament just to catch the atmosphere of the championship and hang out in fan zones

Accommodation of fans is a responsibility of the host cities, while the local organizing committees in Ukraine and Poland are responsible for providing accommodation for UEFA officials.

Ukraine is expecting around 800,000 guests for EURO 2012. Naturally, not all of them will come for the entire three weeks of the tournament. People will come for specific matches they have tickets for. The major tasks of the host cities are to ensure that every guest find accommodation to their taste and pocket, spend time in the city with great pleasure and has the desire come back to Kyiv.

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Today, organizers of the championship in Ukraine face a number of problems in terms of guest accommodation. The one problem is the lack of information for the fans about accommodation possibilities in Ukrainian cities. The second problem are all kinds of swindlers that wouldn´t mind to profit on the scarcity of accommodation. The third problem is competition with Poland, which has a more developed tourism infrastructure and the number of decent hotels there is much higher. For example, there are 14 five-star hotels operating in Krakow today, while there are only two in Donetsk.

Director of the EURO 2012 Organizing Committee Ukraine Markian Lubkivskiy officially stated that the best way to find accommodation at the championship is by going to the website www.accom2012.com, which was opened for this purpose by TUI Travel Ukraine, the Ukrainian partner of UEFA. The website contains information about vacancies in hotels, hostels, camping grounds, dormitories, health spas and private apartments for rent in Ukrainian host cities. There you can select the accommodation depending on the price and quality and make a reservation.

Based on international experience, it is known that 80% of fans look for affordable accommodation rather than 3 or 4-star hotels. Lubkivskiy noted that during major sports events like world cups or European championships, the prices for accommodation soar up. Such are the laws of the market economy.

In London, for Olympic Games 2012 the prices of accommodation in hotels will double. This is normal, particularly since rooms are still being reserved.

However, in Ukrainian host cities of EURO 2012 the cost of accommodation is way overpriced. A popular website www.booking.com is full of accommodation offers with clearly inadequate prices.

The media give examples of owners of Kyiv hostels who have apparently already sold beds in 8-bed rooms for US $100 a day. This could scare away many fans and force them to abandon the thought of a lengthy stay in the cities and limit their visits to Ukraine to a one-day visit on the itinerary scheme airport stadium airport.

Besides hotels and hostels, the host cities plan to organize camping areas where one night will cost around EUR 15-20. The matter is about fully civilized areas, where guests will be able to combine attending a football championship with summer relaxation on the beach, for example, in Hydropark in Kyiv or Velykoanadolskiy Forest near Donetsk.

Ukrainian Association of Travel Agencies of Ukraine and the Hotel and Restaurant Association are involved in providing accommodation of EURO 2012 fans. The prices in places of accommodation that are members of these organizations were announced by President of Hamalia travel agency Ihor Holubakha. He said in Kyiv, where the agency signed contracts for 7,925 rooms of the 20,000 available, the price for a hostel goes from EUR 18 to EUR 85 per day, in hotels EUR 27.6 EUR 276, holiday centers EUR 69 EUR 115.

Donetsk (3,667 rooms for accommodation of 9,717 people) has the following offers: hostels EUR 11.5-16 per day, hotels EUR 60 115, holiday centers EUR 69-115; Lviv (236 rooms for 569 people): hotels EUR 23-46, holiday centers EUR 57.5-132, while in Kharkiv it is possible to book one of 256 hotel rooms ranging in price from EUR 92 to EUR 253.

Captains of the tourism and hotel industry recommend those who want to visit Ukrainian host cities to use these prices a guideline. Guests of EURO 2012 must know that there is accommodation available in Ukraine and that they should simply look in the right places to avoid paying more than they should or being ripped off.

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