The Soviet Union has asked South Korean companies to help build hotels to boost tourism, a Seoul construction official said on Monday.

Officials at the Overseas Construction Association of Korea said they were told the Russians plan to double the number of hotel rooms in major cities to 11,000."The Soviets asked us to help build hotels in Moscow and Leningrad," association official Hong Soon-gil told reporters.

Hong, who met senior Soviet officials on a visit to Moscow earlier this month, said they also asked South Korean builders to set up construction materials plants.

The Soviet Union recently asked South Korean firms to submit bids for a $40-million trade center in the Pacific port of Nakhoda.