''As the football WC organising committee said, the championship doesn't guarantee hotel occupancy''

''As the football WC organising committee said, the championship doesn't guarantee hotel occupancy'' Photo: Oleg Tikhonov

Hoteliers who prepare to host Football WC guests gathered to discuss security in means of accommodation in Kazan on 6 and 7 February. Law enforcement agencies had a tough time – in Kazan, they were reminded about their slowness during an evacuation after calls about a fake bomb threat, metal detectors in reception, which caused the judge's appearance on the horizon. Realnoe Vremya tells the details of the meeting of representatives of the hotel market with the police.

How Kazan will accommodate FIFA with athletes and when

In the first discussion of ''Security in Means of Accommodation: All Clear, Many Questions'' conference it became known not everything was clear. But before the hoteliers started to attack the police asking a pile of questions, Director of the Accommodation Administration of the 2018 FIFA World Cup Organising Committee in Russia Oksana Tubman told about work of hotels during the competition in detail.

Two hotels (excluding Moscow where four hotels are going to welcome the athletes) were allocated in every city for the teams competing in the championship. The maximum travel time from all hotels to the stadium time is to be 45 minutes. One hotel is given for FIFA in each city. In addition, there are headquarters for FIFA and referees in the capital.

Oksana Tubman told about work of hotels during the competition

Apart from pre-match hotels, 32 facilities for the teams will be used in Russia.

''A team arrives, lives in Russia in the hotel located in the facility of the team, which every city has. But it takes off to the host city to play a match and stays in the pre-match hotel,'' Oksana Tubman explained the scheme of work. The teams are to check-in in pre-match hotels two days in advance and leave them one day after it ends.''

The speaker says they are not responsible for fans. But a host city is. However, in her opinion, there won't be problems with it.

On guard over personal data

In their welcome speech, both Vice President of the Federation of Restaurateurs and Hoteliers Vadim Prasov and Chairwoman of the Association of Hoteliers of Kazan and Tatarstan Gulnara Safina mentioned one of the topics that still concerned them – a big number of checks in hotels. During the open discussion, this question was first. Safina specified the timeframe of the checks in hotels for the WC.

Head of the Department on Supervision of Execution of Laws on Federal Security, Interethnic Relations, Fight against Extremism and Terrorism of the Tatarstan Prosecutor General's Office Ildar Ismagilov told that breaches were detected after the checks in November-December 2017. And now, in February, a new final check that will show whether all deficiencies had been corrected kicked off.

Gulnara Safina mentioned one of the topics that still concerned them – a big number of checks in hotels

''We want to hope a lot that sufficient measures were taken to rectify the deficiencies and such checks won't be held further on.''

Indeed, there was a request not to distract the hotels, facilities in the height of their work. And we tried to satisfy the request,'' Ismagilov commented.

Another question Gulnara Safina caused a long discussion. It turned out their colleagues from the police asked the hotels to provide them with data about new guests three times a day.

''What's more, the lines of communication were very doubtful – the lists needed to be sent to some emails. Therefore the hotels breach the law No. 152 on the integrity of personal data. We raised this question. But we wanted to express it again and hear whether it was possible to create a united channel of communication to provide data about new guests,'' the chairwoman of the Association of Hoteliers of Kazan and Tatarstan asked. She also reminded they also gave all data through the Ministry of Internal Affairs during a day. By the way, there is an analogous problem in Moscow where hoteliers also have to transmit data even about the clients who checked in two hours before to an email.

It became clear that security workers in Tatarstan deleted this issue from the agenda before the Confederations Cup when it was decided not to send a mass of requests to hotels to provide data during checks in the hotels. However, according to Safina, the hoteliers didn't know about it, and the requests continued coming. Press Secretary of the Administration on Migration of the Ministry of Internal Affairs in Tatarstan Aleksey Pashin made everything clear here. He told the information should be given through Continent Service where the police would track the data, while the hoteliers would be able to send information to the Ministry of Internal Affairs, not via unprotected services, if requested.

Ildar Ismagilov told that breaches were detected after the checks in November-December 2017. And now, in February, a new final check that will show whether all deficiencies had been corrected started

How counterterrorism almost led to court

Measures on the additional security of WC guests became another topical issue. The case is that metal detectors must compulsorily appear in hotels by the WC and security scanners in pre-match hotels and accommodation of FIFA employees. According to Marat Salakhiyev, deputy director of the Extradepartmental Protection Directorate of the Russian Guard in Tatarstan, their number can rise.

But the detectors and security scanners already caused unpleasant discussions between hoteliers and guests. Safina told that problems once arose with detectors in reception whose presence wasn't regulated in the resolution of the government on Approval of Requirements for Anti-Terrorist Protection of Hotels and Other Means of Accommodation and Passport Form of These Facilities No. 272.

''We've had guests in our hotel. And they're ready to sue us because we made them go through the metal detector every day. What should I reply to them? They've lived for four days, studied the regulation No. 272 in detail and found out where it was written that a metal detector needed to be there,'' Safina gave an example.

30 minutes later, it became known Marat Salakhiyev didn't leave this problem in peace and finally found proof of his words about the compulsory and, most importantly, legal use of metal detectors alluded to the same regulation No. 272.

''If you take honey from bees, leave them at least sugar''

After quite a hot discussion between the hoteliers and the police, Vadim Prasov talked to Realnoe Vremya and told that unlike the four cities that hosted the Confederations Cup, the other cities faced difficulties. According to him, sometimes they see the local police' own interpretation of a series of aspects of hotels' activity, which, of course, causes additional difficulties.

But the interlocutor of the newspaper was concerned about what the hotels in the cities that didn't host the WC but were in the stricter control zone would do. Here he put an example of the WC host city Sochi, Gelendzhik, Anapa, Novorossiysk, Tuapse and Krasnodar that were under control.

''From a perspective of a hotelier, the question is who will live in Tuapse if one goes to watch football to Sochi. I think there won't be such heroes. It takes about six hours to get there by car in high season. And control is becoming stricter,'' the vice president of the Federation of Restaurateurs and Hoteliers noted.

Vadim Prasov preferred not to speak about an average occupancy of hotels in the WC because now indicators were constantly corrected, including thanks to FIFA Match Accommodation that started to cancel bookings but hasn't chosen the final number of required rooms. Vadim Prasov didn't forecast and speak what results the WC would bring to the hotel business in advance.

''As the football WC organising committee said, the championship doesn't guarantee hotel occupancy. Nobody has promised you happiness, which is, in general, also true — nobody has promised, we simply expected it. But my friend said once: if you take honey from bees, leave them at least sugar. We would wish it sometimes. Why do questions about the allocation of free space arise? Because our occupancy and booking weren't guaranteed. The situation is better for some cities — Moscow will certainly be the hub, from a perspective of at least its comfortable logistics. And not only Moscow but also Moscow Oblast. For instance, for same Ekaterinburg, Rostov or Volgograd...,'' the newspaper's interlocutor shared. He also reminded it's not sure the hotels would get their clients if a match was held in the daytime.

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By Maria Gorozhaninova. Photo: Maksim Platonov