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MOSCOW, September 22 /ITAR-TASS/. After a series of high-profile scandals in the Russian tourism sector, many Russians have lost trust in tourist companies. But the majority of those who used their services in the past said they would continue doing that in future, a public opinion research center VTSIOM revealed in a report published on Monday.
VTSIOM conducted a public opinion poll among 1,600 people in 42 Russian regions on September 13-14. The statistical error does not exceed 3.4%.
According to the pollsters, every second Russian (51%) considers tourism agencies to be unreliable crooks compared to 35% who said that tourist companies should be trusted. Most of those people are the agencies’ old customers (59%).
Eighty-four percent of those who used to turn to tourist companies in the past said they would do that in future. On the whole, 45% said they did not totally exclude a possibility of turning to tourist companies.
Seventy percent of Russians spoke in favour of imprisoning tourist companies’ staff who intentionally violate their commitments to customers while 21% of respondents, predominantly the residents of Moscow and St. Petersburg (41%); clients of tourism companies (31%); and respondents with high personal incomes (28%) who were opposed to such a strict punishment.
Three fourths of Russians or (76%) who travelled this summer had organized their trips independently. Five percent of Russians asked their tourist agents for help in obtaining visas and buying tickets. Every fifth respondent (19%) ordered a tourist company to organize full package tours. Most of them were Muscovites or residents of St. Petersburg /39%/ and affluent respondents (27%).