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MOSCOW, August 16 (Itar-Tass) - The head of Russia’s Rospotrebnadzor consumer rights watchdog said on Friday that tour companies’ refusal to return money to Russian tourists cancelling trips to Egypt amid turmoil in that country was unlawful.
“The consumer who has not made use of the service has the right to demand a 100% refund,” Gennady Onishchenko told reporters. He said he did not intend at the moment to officially ban Russians from going to Egypt for holiday, but added that he hoped they would change their own minds.
The executive director at the Association of Tour Operators of Russia, Maya Lomidze, said on Friday that tour operators were correcting their plans for trips to Egypt and were taking measures to comply with recommendations of the Rosturizm Federal Tourism Agency to suspend sales of tour packages to the country where the situation was worsening.
Lomidze said Rosturizm had issued a letter on Thursday, which said “sales of tour packages to Egypt must be practically stopped” from August 15.
Despite Russian Foreign Ministry advice against visits to Egypt, about 600 Russian tourists have flown on Friday to resorts of that cheap and popular holiday destination. About 2,600 people are still expected to fly to Egypt during the day. According to Rosturizm, some 50,000 Russian tourists are currently holidaying there.