In a gesture of protest against Russia’s war on Ukraine, Hyatt has suspended services previously provided under a management agreement with the Hyatt Regency Sochi hotel in the former Olympic host city of Sochi. , in Russia, the company announced this week.
The move comes weeks after Hyatt’s decision on March 25 to terminate all contracts and any relationship or association with the Hyatt Regency Moscow Petrovsky Park in the Russian capital, citing “compliance with applicable sanctions and government guidelines.”
According to The Points Guy (TPG), this is the first publicly known case of a major Western hotel chain withdrawing its existing presence in Russia due to the Eurasian giant’s ongoing war against Ukraine.
“To the extent that we are able to do so, we are working with the hotel to ensure a smooth transition of our management structure and brand operations to minimize the impact on colleagues and guests,” a Hyatt spokesperson told TPG. “Members who have booked at this hotel for stays April 15, 2022 and beyond can contact the hotel directly.”
Cutting ties with the Sochi property now reduces the Chicago-based company’s footprint in Russia to just three hotels.
In mid-March, Hyatt halted all development and withdrew all new investment in Russia, along with other major Western hotel companies with operations there – Hilton, IHG, Marriott and Accor – with several of them closing their headquarters society in Moscow.
As the global hotel industry continues to collectively condemn Russia’s illegal and catastrophic incursion into Ukraine, major hotel companies find themselves in a somewhat precarious position. This is because they don’t actually own most of their associated hotels, but rather franchise brand rights to independent owners.
Unlike major Western brands in other industries, such as McDonald’s and Starbucks, which have suspended all operations in Russia, hotels that hold third-party contracts with hotel brands can continue to operate, even after a company like Hyatt withdrew its membership. Additionally, properties franchised or managed by major hotel brands continue to provide crucial shelter for many people, including Western diplomats, journalists and aid workers.
Hyatt is also providing housing for refugees across Europe, sending supplies to Ukraine, offering job transfers and creating a fast-growing relief fund for its affected employees in need of basic necessities, resettlement assistance and care. The mass exodus of Ukrainian refugees amid the current crisis is considered the largest European population displacement since World War II.