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Public Chamber opens a hotline for Russian tourists

January 30, 2012, 16:27 UTC+3

The Russian Public Chamber opened a hotline where Lanta Tur Voyage customers can get consultation

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MOSCOW, January 30 (Itar-Tass) — The Russian Public Chamber opened a hotline (8-800-250-68-60) where Lanta Tur Voyage consumers can get consultation, the PC press service reported on Monday.

Earlier, answering a question about how many Russian tourists can stay abroad, spokeswoman for the Association of Tour Operators Irina Tyurina told Itar-Tass, “At this stage we cannot specify the exact number of tourists who are now staying abroad. As of Saturday, January 28, a total of 2,700 tourists were staying abroad. Yesterday about 100 people left India and about 50 tourists left Thailand.”

“Every minute our tourists can leave for Russia. Now they are leaving foreign countries as scheduled,” she explained.

Meanwhile, the PC press service said expert of the working group for protecting human rights of Russian citizens abroad, Roman Bobylyov, and head of the Russian Agency for Tourism Grigory Sarishvili left for Thailand to settle the situation.

Experts will deal with legal consultation and hold talks with the leadership of the Thai Ministry for Tourism, the administration of hotels and airlines. In addition, the Public Chamber said according to its reports, Russian tourists suffered more in Thailand. “There are facts when hotels’ management blackmailed Russian tourists,” expert Dmitry Davydenko said.

Totally, several thousands of Lanta Tur Voyage consumers suffered from the tour operator’s bankruptcy, the Public Chamber said.

“Hundreds of people were forced to leave tourist centres and hotels and wait for their flights at airports. Lanta Tur Voyage spoilt holidays for many Russian tourists,” Davydenko said.

Experts of the Public Chamber will help in preparation of applications to the insurance companies and lawsuits to tour operators.

The Public Chamber plans to gather for a session on February 2, which will focus on the situation around Lanta Tur Voyage. The session will be attended by representatives of the embassies of Thailand, Vietnam and Russia, as well as the leadership of insurance companies, the Public Chamber said.

In addition, Russian tourists can call hotlines of Lanta Tur Voyage (8-495-786-68-60), Rostourism (8-495-607-39-49; 8-985-226-82-71) and Rospotrebnadzor (8-800-100-00-04).

Lanta Tur Voyage is one of the biggest companies in the Russian market. It unexpectedly stopped all operations on Friday, January 27. The company has been in business for more than 12 years, selling tours to such countries as Thailand, Vietnam and India. According to the Association of Tour Operators, about 600 people should be able to return home this weekend. About 3,000 people are affected by the suspension of Lanta Tur Voyage’s operations. The Federal Agency for Tourism jointly with consular services are involved in the process of solving the problem and aiding Russian tourists: they maintained contacts with hotels’ administration where Russian citizens were staying in.

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