Home Hotels 2 U.S. Hotel Chains Have Announced Sanctions Against Russia

2 U.S. Hotel Chains Have Announced Sanctions Against Russia

by SharonKurheg

The atrocious acts that Russia continues in its invasion of Ukraine have been covered by every website and TV station around the world. The list of companies that have chosen to withdraw from Russia, to show their outrage about the attack, continues to grow.

Jeffrey Sonnenfeld is the Lester Crown Professor in the Practice of Management at Yale School of Management, and Senior Associate Dean for Leadership Studies. He and his research team at the Yale Chief Executive Leadership Institute have been keeping track of corporations that have withdrawn from Russia – and those that have not – in something of a “naughty or not” list.

The spreadsheet is considered to be the most authoritative and comprehensive record of the corporate exodus from Russia. It’s also been spread so widely (it’s been cited by The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, The Financial Times, The Washington Post, Axios, CBS, CNBC, CNN, MSNBC, Fortune, Huffington Post, Meduza, NPR, BBC, and Investment Executive, among others) that it’s, aided by outcry form the public, convinced some companies, which hadn’t yet broken with the Russian markets (Pepsico, Coca-Cola, Starbucks and McDonald’s, for example), to finally do so.

The list includes companies from just about every sector of the corporate world – computers, airlines, food and beverage, automotive, financial, banking, media, sports, etc. The efforts of each company varies from merely ending the possibility of new alliances/content (c’mon Disney, you can do better than that), to suspending operations, to closing up shop and leaving the country entirely.

The companies represent nations from all over the world. But when you specifically look at U.S.-based companies, there’s one sector that’s noticeably absent from the list that have made changes to their dealings with Russia – U.S. hotels.

Sonnenfeld and his team have a comparatively short list of “Companies That Remain in Russia With Significant Exposure.” When we began writing this post, there were 32 such companies that had not broken ties and five of them were hotel chains. Of those, 4 were U.S.-based hotel chains.

  • Hilton has 26 locations in Russia
  • Hyatt has 6 locations in Russia
  • Intercontinenal Hotel Group (IHG) has at least 26 locations in Russian
  • Marriott has at least 10 locations in Russia

Some of the brands have made statements about the conflict, but as you can see below, as we were writing this, two of the chains, Hilton and Hyatt, changed their stance.

Hilton:

BREAKING! As per Reuters, Hilton said earlier today that it would suspend all new development activity in Russia.

U.S. hotel operator Hilton Worldwide Holdings Inc on Wednesday decided to close its corporate office in Moscow and suspend all new development activities in Russia following the country’s invasion of Ukraine.

Hilton representatives had also said several days ago that they would donate any profits from the operation of its 26 Russia hotels to relief efforts in Ukraine.

Hyatt:

BREAKING! Also as per Reuters:

Hyatt Hotels on Wednesday also announced its decision to suspend development activities and any new investments in Russia, effective immediately.

Bloomberg reports Hilton says it was also determining the best way to support workers and guests at its Russia hotels.

IHG:

A spokesperson said to Hotel News Now:

We have 28 hotels in Russia that continue to operate under long-term management or franchise agreements. IHG hotels are often safe places of refuge in times of adversity, often for the world’s media and first responders. We always prioritize the safety of our guests and colleagues and review how we support them and our hotels’ owners. Of course, we continue to monitor the evolving situation.

Marriott:

I haven’t been able to find any recent information about Marriott’s response to Russia’s infiltration of Ukraine. The hotel company’s CEO spoke to CNN about guest safety about 2 weeks ago.

re: the news from Hilton and Hyatt: of course, suspending development of new hotels in Russia is not nearly as powerful as closing current hotels entirely. However if those hotels are all run by franchisees, it may make such closures more problematic, if not impossible. Then again, Starbucks and McDonald’s in Russia are also run by franchisees, but managed to close their respective Russian locations, so there ya go. Then again, I admittedly don’t know the details of agreements that are made for franchised businesses that run in Russia.

There are other U.S. based hotel chains in Russia that aren’t on Sonnenfeld’s list at all, including Raddison, Wyndham and BWH Hotel Group.  No word from any of them regarding their plans.

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This post first appeared on Your Mileage May Vary

2 comments

Jason Say March 10, 2022 - 2:26 pm

Marriott statement went out this morning if you want to update: “We have made the decision, effective immediately, to close our corporate office in Moscow, and pause the opening of upcoming hotels and all future hotel development and investment in Russia”

Reply
SharonKurheg March 10, 2022 - 2:29 pm

Thanks. My post was from last night and,obviously, things have changed a lot since then. The other bloggers have covered it well Thank-you, though!.

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