Several hundred hostels have already opened in Moscow, 80% of them are located in apartment buildings in the city center. Muscovites are dissatisfied with the neighbourhood, because hostels are like lodgings, not hotels. It's time to regulate the market, Yaroslav Kuzminov is sure.
There are 270 hostels in Moscow, it is a small but rapidly growing market, and their appearance has already changed the tourist image of the city. The problem is that no one regulates this market yet, and hostels live next door to ordinary Muscovites. 80% of all hostels in Moscow are located in residential apartments of apartment buildings. Disputes flare up constantly: some are sure that the hostel has flooded them, others are dissatisfied with advertisements hanging all over the courtyard, or "persons darting around the courtyard with bags." HSE rector Yaroslav Kuzminov, who is running for the Moscow City Duma in the 45th Krasnoselsky District, decided to talk with tenants and hostel management and went on a raid on August 20 on several of them in central Moscow. BG went along with the Rector.
Yaroslav Kuzminov and Daniel Mishin (owner of the Privet Hostels hostel network)
Elsa Maksimova lives with a big family in house No. 21/2 on Ulansky pereulok, they bought an apartment for 20 million Rubles. In June this year, the Crystal hostel opened above them. Now they are flooded every day. “30 people live in the hostel, when they wash, the water flows in our bathroom directly from the ceiling. When we try to talk to them, they send us three letters. And the district policeman even considers me to be crazy. We put buckets out to catch the water, my elderly Mother cannot leave the house, we are afraid to flood our neighbours,” Elsa Maksimova does not hide her emotions and shows us a huge hole in the bathroom ceiling. We go up to the hostel, it is clean and quiet. “Now there are three people living in the hostel, there are no groups of around 30 people here, they would not fit,” the Hostel Administrator insists.
In the house 7/4 on Luchnikov pereulok three hostels are located together. Residents complained several times to authorities about empty bottles and cigarette butts that littered the yard. We go to the sportsground, a Father and Son are doing exercises, everything looks quite safe. The yard is clean; there are no empty bottles or cigarette butts. “And where are the drunken bums? There is nothing to photograph,” our photographer is unhappy.
“Guests with checkered bags constantly dart back and forth across the entrance, we are afraid to go outside. The hostel administrators illegally hung their banners in the courtyard, which they have no right to,” a resident with a small child swears. “It’s a double-edged sword,” the Administrator of one of the hostels argues. “Residents tear off our signs from the walls. After that, visitors to the hostels begin to call residents in the apartments and ask where the hostel is. Residents are unhappy again, this is a vicious circle."
The last object of the Kuzminov raid, Privethostel, is located near the Kurskaya metro station. A happy foreign youth walks around the hostel, everything looks quite safe.
The city needs hostels, says Kuzminov. “We cannot leave Moscow without cheap accommodation [for tourists]. The hostel is primarily a place where a tourist can spend the night for $ 20." A night in a hotel in Moscow now costs at least 3,000 Rubles, some people don’t have that kind of money, others don’t want to pay it. The price of an overnight stay in a Moscow hostel does not exceed 800 Rubles. They not only make Moscow more convenient and affordable, but also bring good profit to the city. In 2013, tax revenue from hostel activities gave the budget a billion Rubles.
But for now, Moscow hostels "are more like hostels for illegal immigrants than hotels," Kuzminov says. - Today anyone can open a lodging or place to hang out and call this business the beautiful word "hostel". The market needs to be regulated,” he said. It is necessary to introduce GOSTs for hostels, develop a mechanism for their voluntary accreditation and start issuing patents for their activities.
So far, the only regulator in the market is the non-profit organization, the League of Hostels. If the hostel wants to become a member of the league, it is obliged to register all guests at the FMS, pay taxes regularly, install a separate intercom system and water meters, and insulate the walls with soundproofing. The hostel administration should be friends with the neighbours, and if possible, provide concierge services, repair the common riser, not make noise and do not interfere with the neighbours. The league currently includes only 25% of the capital's hostels.