MOSCOW, November 17. /TASS/. The demand for overseas trips among Russian tourists will contract due to confirmation А321 airliner crash in Egypt was caused by a terror attack, spokesperson for the Russian Tourism Industry Union Irina Tyurina told TASS on Tuesday.
"From the very beginning we’ve been saying that people will be waiting for results of investigation of the crash, and in case it turns out that it was a terror act this will implant doubt in tourists who will question whether it’s worth going anywhere at all. Now that the results of the investigation have been announced plus terror attacks in Paris will seriously slow the demand among tourists," Tyurina said.
However, she refused to say how much the demand for trips may lose ground in Russia. "I cannot give you the percentage right now but that’s a given that tourists are constantly making phone calls to travel agencies, asking to change departure dates, substitute destination or totally cancel tours not only to France but to other European countries," spokesperson said.
Also, she said "it’s still early to speak about another chance for domestic tourism amid current events," adding that "another couple weeks need to pass before giving any comments."
Earlier on Tuesday Russia’s Federal Security Service Chief Alexander Bortnikov reported to President Vladimir Putin that the recent Russian A321airliner crash on the Sinai Peninsula had been caused by a terrorist act. The traces of a foreign-made explosive were found in the airliner debris and the passengers’ belongings. "In the estimates of our specialists, a self-made explosive device with its power of up to 1 kilogram in TNT equivalent went off aboard the airliner, due to which the plane broke up in the air, which explains the spread of the plane's fuselage parts over a large distance," he said.
Russian Kogalymavia’s A321 plane en route from Sharm el-Sheikh to St. Petersburg crashed on October 31 around 30 minutes after takeoff in North Sinai, 100 kilometers to the south of Al-Arish. None of the carried 217 passengers and seven crewmembers survived in the crash.
On November 13, a series of terror attacks rocked Paris. Hostages were taken at the Bataclan concert hall where 1,500 people gathered for a rock concert and almost simultaneously three suicide bombers blew themselves up next to the Stade de France stadium where a football match between French and German national teams was in the full swing. Besides, terrorists opened fire at people in popular nightlife spots - cafes, bars and restaurants crowded at that time. Latest reports said that the death toll reached 129; another 352 were injured. President Francois Hollande declared a state of emergency in the country and closed the state borders.