Hyatt has terminated service offerings previously provided under a management agreement with the Hyatt Regency Sochi hotel in the former Olympic host city of Sochi, Russia, as a protest against Russia’s assault on Ukraine, the corporation announced this week.
The decision comes just a few weeks after Hyatt said on March 25 that it will terminate all agreements, as well as any link or association with the Hyatt Regency Moscow Petrovsky Park in the Russian capital, citing “compliance with applicable sanctions and government directives.”
According to a source, this is the first publicly known example of a large Western-based hotel chain removing its current presence in Russia due to the Eurasian giant’s ongoing conflict with Ukraine.
“To the extent, we can do so, we are working with the hotel to ensure a smooth transition of operations from our management structure and brand to minimize the impact on colleagues and guests”, a Hyatt spokesperson told the media. “Members with reservations at this hotel for stays April 15, 2022, and beyond may contact the hotel directly.”
By severing relations with the Sochi resort, the Chicago-based company’s foothold in Russia has shrunk to just three hotels.
While the worldwide hospitality sector continues to denounce Russia’s unlawful and disastrous entry into Ukraine, major hotel firms are in a perilous situation. This is because they do not own the majority of their connected hotels, but rather franchise branding rights to standalone property owners.
Unlike large Western brands in other industries, such as McDonald’s and Starbucks, who have ceased their operations in Russia, hotels having third-party partnerships with hospitality brands can continue to operate even if a firm such as Hyatt withdraws its connection. Furthermore, big hotel companies’ franchised or managed facilities continue to provide critical refuge for many individuals, including Western diplomats, journalists, and humanitarian workers.