Raffles to Manage New Hotel in Moscow

Raffles International today signed an agreement with JSC Moskva Krasnye Holmy, to manage a 235-room deluxe hotel under the Swiss™tel brand. The hotel will be named Swiss™tel Riverside Towers, Moscow and is scheduled to open by May 2005. This contract, the fifth in the last 15 months, marks Raffles International’s maiden hospitality presence in the Russian lodging industry.

Mr Zeki Isin, General Director of JSC Moskva Krasnye Holmy said, “Although Moscow is one of the most frequently visited cities for corporate business travellers, there is a noticeable shortage of high-class business hotels. We are excited to be working with Raffles International to satisfy this niche market with Swiss™tel Riverside Towers, our five-star business hotel in the centre of one of the most developed business complexes in Moscow”.

Ms Leong Wai Leng, Deputy Chief Executive Officer of Raffles Holdings Limited and Executive Director of Raffles International, said, “Based on reports by the Russian Federal Statistics Service, the country’s tourism market is fast growing and the rise in foreign visitors to Moscow is 10 times higher than the world average. It is therefore timely for Raffles International to participate in this growing market. This contract creates an excellent opportunity for us to be in such a vibrant new market and to augment our presence in Europe, particularly the newly emerging economies of this region. It is also in line with our strategic objectives of expanding our geographical footprint and pursuing asset light growth.”Ê

According to Russia’s Economy Ministry, the country’s GDP grew 8 percent in the first four months of 2004, compared to the same period last year, signalling the fifth straight year of strong GDP growth in the country.Ê

The American Chamber of Commerce in Russia reported that the number of tourists who visited Russia in 2003 exceeded 7.4 million, with more than 2.3 million visiting Moscow. This ranks the country as 13th in Europe in terms of popularity with tourists and industry experts believe that with further development and organisation of the tourist industry, Russia may even be able to rise to fifth place on the European table after France, Spain, Great Britain and Italy.

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Swiss™tel Riverside Towers, Moscow, currently under construction, is located on the Eastern tip of the Kremlin Island between the Moscow River and the Obvodny Channel. The hotel is near the Garden Ring Road at Kosmodamianskaya embankment, dubbed the new business and culture district of Moscow. Also located here is the 40,000 square-metre Moscow International House of Music Performance Arts Centre, which opened in September 2003.Ê

Swiss™tel Riverside Towers, Moscow is 3 km from the Kremlin, Moscow’s city centre with a multitude of palaces, armories, and churches, a medieval fortress that links the modern nation to its legendary past; and a 10-minute walk to the Paveletskaya Railway Station where the express train to Domodedovo International Airport can be boarded.

When completed, the 34-storey hotel will be one of the tallest buildings in Moscow. Its facilities will include meeting and convention rooms, a spa and fitness centre, indoor swimming pool and six food and beverage outlets.
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