IHG, Marriott update their activities in Russia

As Russia’s war against Ukraine enters its second month, major hotel groups — IHG Hotels & Resorts and Marriott International — have announced that while they haven’t closed their hotels in Russia, they have suspended all future development and do not plan on resuming any investment in the country.

Announcing that the company has closed its corporate office in Moscow while continuing to support colleagues, IHG said in a statement that it has been evaluating its management or franchise agreements with independent third-party companies which own the hotels in Russia.

“IHG-branded hotels in Russia operate under complex long-term management or franchise agreements with independent third-party companies that own the hotels. Given the increasing challenges of operating in Russia we continue to evaluate these contracts and are in discussions with owners, but this is a complicated process and will take some time,” IHG said in the statement.

Expressing shock at the loss of lives and widespread destruction in Ukraine, Marriott said it had paused the opening of upcoming hotels and future developments, adding that since their hotels in Russia are owned by third parties, they were evaluating the ability for their hotels to remain open.

Along with Hilton, these three companies have signed up on #HospitalityHelps, the online booking platform that facilitates free short-term hotel stays for Ukrainians fleeing the war. Over 80 of Marriott’s hotels in Ukraine’s neighboring countries have signed up on the platform, donating more than 11,000 free room nights to date, while Hilton has donated up to 1 million room nights to support the refugees, in partnership with American Express. #HospitalityHelps, an initiative created by a group of hospitality veterans, has facilitated over 120,000 guest nights for displaced Ukrainians so far.

Marriott has also started their own humanitarian efforts to support relief funds. Marriott Bonvoy members can donate points and the loyalty program will be matching donations point-for-point for World Central Kitchen and UNICEF up to 100 million points donated this year. So far, more than 46 million Marriott Bonvoy points have been donated, a statement said.

Hilton previously stated said it will donate its profits from business operations in Russia to the relief efforts.