David Jenkins Interview
David Jenkins joined Rezidor from Jones Lang Lasalle Hotels & Hospitality Group where he served as Executive Vice President Russia & CIS. At Rezidor, David will be responsible for designing and executing the group’s ambitious growth strategy in Russia & CIS together with two strong executives, Darren Blanchard and Maria Znova.
The Carlson Rezidor Hotel Group is one of the biggest and most fast-paced hotel companies worldwide. Rezidor’s order portfolio totals more than 1,370 hotels (both operating and under construction) offering ca. 180,000 rooms in 110 countries. The Carlsson Rezidor Hotel Group’s famous brands are Quorvus Collection, Radisson Blu®; Radisson®; Radisson Red, Park Plaza®; Park Inn® by Radisson and Country Inns & Suites By CarlsonSM. Most of the hotels managed by the group offer the Club CarlsonSM loyalty program, one of the most beneficial loyalty programs worldwide. The company’s corporate HQ are in Minneapolis (USA) and in Bruxelles (Belgium).
- What are the new hospitality trends in Russia?
It has been the growth of domestic tourism, which for a long time was ‘needed’ by the tourism and hotel business in the country but the Russian tourist had been focused on traveling overseas. We also have started to see the return of Russian tourists to CIS countries such as Georgia and Armenia.
Added to this we have seen an explosion of Chinese tourists to Moscow and St. Petersburg in the main, though this has also spread to the Far East of Russia to Vladivostok – to the main city and to the gambling zone.
- How do you think the political instability affects the tourism countries?
The geopolitics has helped to create the demand for the growth in domestic tourism – the local tourist has been unable to go to Egypt and Turkey so has elected to go to the Russian Black Sea. The ruble collapse has meant that holidays in Europe have become prohibitively expensive so the local tourist has travelled to St. Petersburg, Kazan, Golden Ring towns and out to Tbilisi and Yerevan
- You live in Moscow for more than 20 years. How do you see the today and future of tourism in Moscow?
Moscow continues to do more, as a city, to appeal to tourists from all across the globe and not only locals. The local hotel and tourism authorities have been very active of late and the city itself is much more tourist friendly than it has ever been. Today, if coming from abroad, Moscow has never been better value for money – so I would urge those who have the city on their ‘bucket list’ to come now whilst prices are so attractive. The city continues to develop as a destination for tourists so I remain positive for the future – especially with the FIFA World Cup coming in 2018.
- What are the promising markets in Russia other than Moscow and St. Petersburg?
Sochi is an excellent summer and winter destination – the skiing is world class now. Kazan is a historical city with much to see. The towns around the Golden Ring are not too far from Moscow (Vladimir, Suzdal, Yaroslav etc). In addition of course there is the great nature of Lake Baikal, the Altai region, Kamchatka and Lake Karelia.