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New Corinthia-Intour Joint Venture Hotel Development

Russia is a vast and diverse country that is becoming more and more popular with international tourists. Russian holiday-makers are also enjoy exploring their home country during their leisure times. In an effort to fill the growing need for tourist accommodation, Malta-based International Hotel Investments and Russian travel agency Intourist will be launching a joint venture to build a network of four and five-star hotels in Russia.

International Hotel Investments is a subsidiary of Corinthia Hotels International, which has a string of top-class hotels in Czech Republic, Hungary, Libya, Portugal, Malta, Gambia, Tunisia and Turkey. There is currently one Corinthia Hotel in Russia – the Corinthia Nevskij Palace Hotel in St. Petersburg. The new joint venture partners have announced their intention to invest $330 million in the project until 2011.

Intourist is a Russian travel agency that was founded by Joseph Stalin in 1929, at which time it was staffed by NKVD officials and was the official state travel agency of the Soviet Union. The agency was privatized in 1992 and is now largely owned by holding company Sistema. With decades of experience in the tourist industry, Intourist is well qualified to assess the needs of this ever growing market sector.

Starting off with an initial capital outlay of $100 million, the joint venture has identified five sites which are major tourist destinations and will benefit most from this development. Hotels will be constructed in Sochi, Rostov-on-Don, Nizhny Novgorod, Moscow and St. Petersburg. Plans are in place for an additional $200-$230 million to be made available by the end of 2008 for further developments. Five-star hotels will operate under the Corinthia Hotels brand name, with four-star hotels being branded as Corinthia-Intourist.

The Russian resort city of Sochi is located in Krasnodar Krai along the shores of the Black Sea, with the majestic snow-capped peaks of the Caucasus Mountains as a backdrop. Sochi has been chosen to host the 2014 Winter Olympics, defeating Austria, Salzburg and South Korea. There are many places of interest to visit in Sochi, with one of the most notable being the almost 2,000 square kilometer Sochi National Park.

Situated on the Don River in the Rostov Oblast, the fascinating city of Rostov-on-Don is a city rich in ancient Russian history, tradition and culture and is a popular destination for international tourists who appreciate these aspects of Russia. Nizhny Novgorod is Russia’s fourth largest city and boasts more than 600 historic, cultural and architectural monuments. UNESCO has included Nizhny Novgorod in their official list of 100 cities of the world which are of significant cultural and historical value.

In addition to being the capital city of Russia, Moscow is the country’s economic, political, religious, educational, financial and transportation centre. This bustling city is a sight-seer’s paradise, with superb examples of ancient architecture, museums, theaters, parks, cathedrals, monuments and much, much more. St. Petersburg, situated on the Neva River, is another prime tourist destination. As with Moscow, St. Petersburg is a treasure trove of history, culture and tradition, which attracts tourists from far and wide.

This new joint venture by International Hotel Investments and Intour is an indication of the confidence these two prestigious companies have in the tourist attracting power of Russia. Why not visit Russia the next time you get the urge to widen your horizons – it will be an unforgettable experience.


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