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MOSCOW, February 14 (Itar-Tass) — The Ingosstrakh insurance company reviewed 2,600 statements from Lanta-Tour clients requesting a total of 90 million roubles in compensations, director of the Rostourism Federal Tourism Agency Alexander Radkov said at a news conference on Tuesday.
"Ingosstrakh continues to accept statements requesting compensation from Lanta-Tour clients. As of now, it reviewed 2,600 applications requesting a total of 90 million roubles in compensations," Radkov said.
"The lists of the affected parties are not complete yet, their number and the damages are being specified, yet even now it is possible to say that the sum of 100 million roubles for which Lanta-Tour was insured at Ingosstrakh is insufficient to pay everyone," he said, "underlining that after the total number of injured parties has been estimated, the payment of compensations will begin proportionate to tourists' expenses."
"Some Lanta-Tour clients are not requesting indemnity in hope that the tour operator will resume is activity," Radkov noted.
The Lanta-Tour administration is looking for a strategic investor; it is analyzing its sales, which include September. The tour operator has an understanding of the number of booked tours, but it is not yet known how many of them have been paid for in full," the Rostourism official noted.
He paid attention to the fact that with a warm season ahead, it is necessary to amend the legislation with the view of avoiding similar crises: "for example, it is necessary to tie the sum of financial security of the tour operator with its turnover, because the insurance sum of 100 million roubles might prove insufficient for a large company."
Also, it is necessary to move towards creating self-regulating organizations in tourism with compensation funds for resolving tourists' problems.
Radkov called for introduction of an automated tour registration as travel agencies tend to conceal their turnover. One might ponder insurance of each individual tour, he suggested.
On January 27, Lanta-Tour Voyage, one of Russia’s largest tour operators, suddenly suspended its activity. Master Bank's refusal to grant it a loan contributed to the company’s' financial problems. As a result, a thousand of Lanta-Tour clients were unable to fly to their vacation destinations, while tourists staying abroad had problems with payments for their hotel accommodations.
Lanta-Tour Voyage has been on the Russian market since 1991.
The last Lanta-Tour clients returned to their homeland on February 12-13.
On February 1, VTB granted a 7-million dollar loan to Lanta-Tour for five years.