MOSCOW, February 1 (Itar-Tass) —— VTB will give a loan to Lanta-Tour Voyage travel agency, VTB said in its press release on Wednesday. The credit will be provided to Lanta- Tour for settlement of its debts to foreign counterparts to ensure that foreign tourists staying abroad could return to Russia, it said.
The terms, under which the credit will be granted and concrete dates are still being discussed.
VTB will thoroughly control the way in which the credit is used to make sure that it is indeed used for the intended purpose, VTB stressed.
On Tuesday Prime Minister Vladimir Putin instructed Minister for Sports and Tourism Vitaly Mutko to settle problems faced by Russian tourists who went abroad on tours organized by Lanta-Tour Voyage.
On January 27 Lanta-Tour Voyage - one of the biggest travel companies on the Russian market, unexpectedly suspended its operations. The company's bankruptcy was caused by Master-Bank's denial to give credit to Lanta-Tour. As a result, thousands of tourists failed to fly abroad on vouchers issued by Lanta-Tour, and tourists who had already been staying abroad faced problems with hotel accommodation because of the unpaid hotel bills.
The Russian Investigation Committee opened a criminal case against Lanta-Tour managers on charges of heavy fraud blamed on an organized group.
A total of 2, 700 tourists who bought vouchers from Lanta-Tour are currently staying abroad, and around a thousand Russians, who booked their tours abroad via Lanta-Tour cannot go abroad, according to ATOR ( The Association of Tour Operators of Russia). Thus, a total of 3,700 tourists may file compensation claims with Ingosstrakh insurance company.
Lanta-Tour Voyage has been in travel business for 12 years. It has been organizing trips abroad to such countries as Thailand, Vietnam, India.