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MOSCOW, January 30 (Itar-Tass) —— Master Bank’s refusal to issue a loan to the Lanta Tur Voyage tour operator led to the latter’s bankruptcy, Russian Union of Tourist Industry (RST) spokeswoman Irina Tyurina said.
“Aeroflot refused to issue tickets to Lanta Tur customers until the tour operator pays the debt, but Master Bank denied a loan to the company. The cash gap was so big that the company could not help the situation and had to close down,” she said on Monday, January 30.
“Naturally, Lanta Tur bears the brunt of responsibility in this situation because it used new customers’ money to pay for the previous tours,” Tyurina said.
Master Bank was founded in 1992. Its authorised capital stood at 3,392,545,000 roubles as of October 17, 2011.
Master Bank is an all-purpose bank, providing all kinds of banking services. Master Bank is equally focused on serving individuals and corporate clients–from small and medium-sized businesses to large corporations.
Tyurina said “the [Lanta Tur Voyage] company plans to officially announce termination of activities on January 30 and will most likely face bankruptcy proceedings”.
Ashe believes that “the financial guarantees of 100 million roubles should be enough for all”.
“At first it was proposed that since they have good offices in Moscow, money from them will be used for payment of damages, but now it is clear that Ingosstrakh’s financial guarantees will be enough for all,” Tyurina said.
Tyurina stressed, “The tourist business is living through hard times: the market has bogged down in dumping practices, and many tour operators are working at a loss.”
“The last good year was 2009 when tour operators thoroughly thought out their policies and calculated volumes at the time of crisis. The following year 2010 was a failure, and 2011 was also hard as dumping practices continued to spread in all directions,” she said.
“Some countries are sold now 200-300 U.S. dollars below cost, that is, at a loss. Companies have big ambitions and they offer dumping prices irrespective of whether they have a financial cushion or not,” Tyurina said.
In his opinion, this also affected Lanta Tur Voyage, which had not sold tours at dumping prices deliberately but had to follow others all the same.
Federal Agency for Tourism (Rostourism) has also set up a crisis hotline at 7/495/607-39-49. The Federal Service for Supervision of Consumer Protection and Welfare’s hotline number is /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.