MOSCOW, April 6 (Itar-Tass) —— Two Russian tourists who bought tours to the Dominican Republic from the ITC tour operator have been asked to pay $1,500 for the hotel accommodation anew, Executive Director of the Association of Russian Tour Operators Maya Lomidze told Itar-Tass on Friday.
“The tour operator suspended departures and informed its clients about problems,” she said. ITC said approximately 100 of its clients were supposed to go on vacation within the next few weeks. About 150 ITC clients are already vacationing in the Dominican Republic, Mexico, Vietnam, Cuba and Jamaica.
“ITC is insured at 30 million rubles by Megaruss-D. The sum is sufficient for covering possible expenditures,” the Association said.
Lomidze told the Ekho Moscow radio on Friday that the tour operator did not initiate its bankruptcy so far. “The decision is being pondered, but it has not been made as yet,” she said.
In turn, the Russian Union of the Travel Industry (RUTI) said that ITC had sold tours to about 300 people with the total cost of 26 million rubles. “Vouchers and plane tickets were given to some tourists for May-June tours. It is important for the tourists to check whether the tour operator has transferred the money to hotels before flying to the distant countries,” the Union said.
The winter season was very difficult for ITC due to the dumping on such popular destinations as Cuba and the Dominican Republic, ITC Tourism Director Yelena Konkina said.
The tour operator did not declare the termination of its activity but warned its tourists about financial problems. Itar-Tass did not obtain ITC comment on the situation. The ITC website continues to offer tours to potential clients.
The Federal Tourism Agency joined the settlement of the situation. Agency spokesman Oleg Moseyev told Itar-Tass that the Agency had sent letters to the Dominican Republic’s tourism minister and the administration of the hotel, which had demanded payment from tourists to ask for paying attention to the clients and for preventing problems, which might result from a dispute between two business entities. The Agency will send similar letters to Mexico and Cuba, where many ITC clients are spending their vacations. “We operate within the international legal framework and want to prevent violations of rights of Russian tourists everywhere. The problems our tourists encounter abroad must be solved quickly,” Moseyev said.
ITC was established in 1995 as a multirole tour operator and a seller of aircraft tickets. It currently sells tours to more than 20 destinations, among them Brazil, Mexico, Vietnam, the Philippines and Peru.