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MOSCOW, April 6 (Itar-Tass) —— The ITC tour operator, which is experiencing financial problems, has 117 tourists abroad at present, Federal Tourism Agency spokesman Oleg Moseyev told Itar-Tass on Friday.
He said the Agency was informed about the precise number of tourists by ITC. Earlier reports claimed the number of tourists at 150.
Financial difficulties of the ITC (International Travel Club), a member of the Association of Russian Tour Operators, became known several days ago. The company suspended departures of its tourists and informed the clients and partners about its temporary problems.
In the words of Moseyev, the majority of the ITC 117 tourists are staying in the Dominican Republic and Cuba. “The tour operator plans to minimize the expenditures of its clients and partners and to resolve the arising financial problems,” he said.
“The Federal Tourism Agency is doing its best to ensure strict observation of rights and lawful interests of ITC tourists staying abroad,” Moseyev said. “The Agency is interacting closely with the ITC executives, the ITC insurer, the Federal Air Transport Service, the Association of Russian Tour Operators and other tourism unions, and transport companies. We also stay in touch with the national tourist administrations of the countries of stay of the ITC tourists,” he said.
“The Federal Tourism Agency has not received any complaints but from tourists from the Dominican Republic,” Moseyev said. Two 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, according to Executive Director of the Association of Russian Tour Operators Maya Lomidze.
“ITC is insured at 30 million rubles by Megaruss-D. The sum is sufficient for covering possible expenditures,” the Association 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.
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.