May 01, 2019

End of Budget Travel?

End of Budget Travel?
Sakhalin’s Aniva lighthouse sits off the southeastern tip of Sakhalin Island. The sentinel was built by the Japanese in 1939 (they called it Naka Shiretoko Saki) but is today empty and inactive, sitting atop a possibly radioactive generator and, reportedly, a 300 kg pool of mercury. Yaroslav Shurayev

After years of threatening to ban cheap dormitory-like hostels and any other accomodation in residential buildings, Russian lawmakers have approved a measure that could cause many private individuals to stop renting out beds, driving up lodging costs for young travelers.

The bill, that at press time flew through the Federation Council (the upper legislative chamber) and on to the Kremlin, declares that no hotel services (namely, providing overnight shelter and breakfast) can be provided in residences. If a hostel or guest house is within a residential building, it must convert its premises to non-residential, meaning it must provide ground-floor access separate from the main entrance, and outfit the premises to pass fire safety, sanitation, and other inspections.

The bill, which ostensibly is in the interest of Russian apartment owners, once enacted, will outlaw such rentals starting October 1.

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