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MOSCOW, January 16 (Itar-Tass) — Costa Crociere, the owner of the luxury cruise liner that ran aground off the coast of Italy, has offered tourists who booked trips for the Costa Concordia in January-February to pay their money back and a 30 percent loan for any voyage of the company until June 2012, the Association of Tour Operators of Russia said on Monday with reference to the company.
For passengers who booked their voyages for the Costa Concordia from Savona, Marseille, Barcelona, Palma, Cagliari, Palermo and Civitavecchia will get a full return of the paid sum plus a 30 percent loan for voyage by any liner – Costa Luminosa, Costa Mediterranea, Costa Favolosa, Costa Serena or Costa Voyager, the company said.
“There have been no reports so far about the payment of compensations to those tourists, who were onboard the liner at the moment of the wreckage,” the Association said.
According to the president of Russian tourist company Neptun, whose tourists were onboard the wrecked liner, Valentin Yeliseyev, “at this moment the company cares about rescuing passengers of the Costa Concordia, therefore the issue of damage compensation has not been discussed in detail.”
He expressed confidence that “this issue will be resolved in favor of tourists, as Costa Crociere values its clients and reputation.”
“The Mediterranean voyages are very popular among Russian tourists,” Yeliseyev said. “In winter such voyages cost less, therefore many people book them during the New Year holidays,” he said noting that “one day before the wreckage a very big group of our tourists ended their voyage and left the ship at the port of Civitavecchia, where another four tourists boarded.”
“After the New Year holidays the demand is traditionally declining,” he said.
“All tourists of Neptun were rescued and sent to Rome, where the consulate will restore their documents. Some tourists have already received their documents, others are still waiting,” Yeliseyev said adding that at present, tourists were accommodated in Hilton Hotel in Rome. Within several days all of them will be able to return to Russia.
The Association of Tour Operators of Russia reminded that independent tourists have to apply for compensation to Costa Crociere, while tourists on organized tours can address to their tour operators for assistance.
According to the Russian state tourist agency, there were 108 Russian tourists and three crewmembers having the Russian citizenship onboard the Costa Concordia that wrecked on January 13 off Italy.