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BANGKOK, February 1 (Itar-Tass) — The situation is calm at Bangkok’s Suvarnabhumi International Airport on Wednesday. There is no rush at the desks of the Russian airlines caused by the financial difficulties of the Lanta Tour Voyage tour operator, as Itar-Tass has seen over the past day. There are many Russian tourists in the airport building, the flights depart for Moscow, St. Petersburg, Vladivostok, Irkutsk, Yekaterinburg and other Russian cities without delay and without stress.
On Tuesday, special envoy of the Russian Federal Tourism Agency (Rostourism) Grigory Sarishvili said that almost all problems of the Lanta Tour Voyage customers who are staying at Thailand hotels have been settled. “At the moment, only 903 customers of Lanta Tur most of whom have declared the intention to depart on the day specified in the ticket, but not earlier, are staying in Thailand,” he said. “We currently only know of five tourists who want to leave early.”
According to him, “The problem with accommodation of tourists at Thai hotels has practically disappeared: people now actually live in hotels without extra pay, but there are practically no facts of their detention in hotels, blackmail and extortion of money, and if minor problems emerge, they are settled with the help of the RF Consuls.”
The Russian Embassy’s staff members have been providing assistance to those affected by the bankruptcy of Lanta Tour Voyage in settling issues with the hotel administrations and linked with their transportation to the airport, press secretary of the Russian diplomatic mission in the Kingdom of Thailand Vitaly Anopov told Itar-Tass earlier. Anopov said on Monday that in some hotels in Thailand, in particular those in Pattaya, hotel administrations took away passports of the tour operator’s clients demanding payments for hotels.
“The last tourists who are on their vacations in Thailand should return home by February 12," Rostourism official said. Sarishvili added that “the Russians have no problem with departures: the Aeroflot and Transaero air carriers fulfill their promise to offer seats on board to those who want to return home earlier than planned, with no penalties or extra charges.” “There have been no cases in which Lanta Tour customers were denied early return if seats on board are available,” Sarishvili added.
Lanta Tour Voyage, one of Russia’s largest travel agencies, unexpectedly suspended its operations on January 27. The company announced bankruptcy as the Master Bank denied it a credit line. Lanta Tour has operated for more than 12 years and specialised in organising trips to Thailand, Vietnam and India.