MOSCOW, August 24 (Itar-Tass) — The Bulgarian authorities pledged on Wednesday that the situation with tourists of Bulgarian VIP Tours that has gone bankrupt will be settled with the help of other Bulgarian tour operators, the Russian Foreign Ministry confirmed.
“According to the Russian foreign missions in Bulgaria, the situation with Russian tourists who were serviced by local tour operator Bulgarian VIP Tours (BVT) is normalizing,” ministry sources said.
“The Bulgarian Ministry of Economy, Energy and Tourism pledged that it will do everything possible to settle that issue through capacities of other Bulgarian tour operators,” they said. The Bulgarian Association of Hotel and Restaurant Owners has also confirmed that, the sources added.
“Upon the request of the Russian Embassy in Sofia, the Bulgarian Interior Ministry sent written notices to hotel leadership that any attempts of their personnel to prevent Russian nationals from obtaining their personal documents and money from safes leased at these hotels before the situation is settled are unlawful,” the ministry sources stressed.
“Staffers of the Russian Embassy and the Consulate General in Varna closely monitor the development of the situation and are ready to offer Russian nationals all necessary assistance,” they added.
On Tuesday, August 21, BVT told its partners that it suspended its activity. It said in the letter that the company could not resolve its financial problems. On Wednesday, there were reports on the first cases of forcing tourists to leave hotels. The bankruptcy of BVT affected several hundreds of Russian tourists spending their holidays in Bulgaria. Certain hotels started forcing Russian tourists to leave hotels despite their wish to repay for their tour.
According to the Association of Tour Operators of Russia, it will become clear how bad the situation is on Friday, when another group arrives in Bulgaria. “Unfortunately, it is impossible to convince hotels not to make tourists leave because these are private companies that are entitled to act of their own free choice,” ATOR said.