“The duty may be levied during foreign passports’ issuance,” ATOR said. The fund’s money could be used for the evacuation of citizens in case of military operations, tsunami and other cataclysms. “At present, tour operators often do this,” ATOR said.
The fund is expected to be used as well if our operators association Turpomoshch (Tourist Assistance) has insufficient funds or in case of the air carrier’s bankruptcy.
“The market players say the amount of contributions to the Turpomoshch fund should be reconsidered. One of the proposals suggests the contribution by the charterers should by increased,” ATOR said.
Following a series of bankruptcies of Russian travel agencies, which affected thousands of Russian citizens, criminal cases were opened. The heads of two of the travel agencies - Labirint and Ideal Tour - have been put on the international wanted list. Since the middle of last July a group of travel companies have had to go out of business due to financial constraints, leaving more than 60,000 holiday-makers suspended. Criminal causes over fraud have been opened against five companies - Labirint, Roza Vetrov Mir, Ideal Tour, Neva and Expo Tour. Investigators say the owners of all firms had been aware of the heavy debts but kept selling vouchers to unsuspecting clients.
To work out proposals on the industry reform, a working group has been formed that comprises representatives of a number of relevant departments and the market players.
The working group proposed the creation of the register of travel agencies the number of which at present is countless and obligate them to secure their liability by bank guarantees, insurance and deposits. Tour operators have also been urged to submit to the Federal Tourism Agency (Rosturism) their annual sales volume plans.