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MOSCOW, September 10. /ITAR-TASS/. Over 4,000 customers of Russia’s bankrupt Yuzny Krest Travel tour operator who are vacationing abroad may need help in getting back home, a tourism business official said on Wednesday.
“According to preliminary information, about 9,000 tourists are now abroad and 4,500 of them may need to be evacuated,” Maya Lomidze, Executive Director of the Association of Russian Tour Operators, told ITAR-TASS.
She said there had so far been no reports about Yuzhny Krest Travel clients being evicted from hotels.
Another 20,000 people or so who have bought tours from Yuzny Krest Travel may not be able to go abroad for vacation.
Yuzny Krest Travel explained its decision to stop operation by a dramatic decline in demand for travel services following the bankruptcy of several leading tourism companies in Russia.
Established in 1998, Yuzhny Krest Group is among Russia’s top ten tour operators. It operates through two companies: Yuzhny Krest Travel and Romanov Club Luxury Travel.
The former offers domestic and foreign travel services, and sells train and plane tickets, books hotels and accommodates foreigners in Russia. The latter organises premium foreign tours mainly in Greece, Indonesia, Dominican Republic, Cuba, the United Arab Emirates, and Thailand.
Yuzhny Krest has offices in Moscow, St. Petersburg, Yekaterinburg, Vladivostok, Ivanovo, Kazan, Kemerovo, Perm, Surgut, Tyumen, Khabarovsk, Khanty-Mansiisk, Novosibirsk, Samara, Ufa, and Yalta.
Its business has been insured by RESO-Garantiya Company with 100 million rouble coverage until March 11, 2015.
In the summer of 2012, Yuzhny Krest’s owners announced plans to attract a foreign investor, Australian Meiln Bank, which could acquire up to a half of the business. But the deal was never concluded.
In 2013, Yuzny Krest Travel’s earnings were reported at 1.9 billion roubles and net income at 1.7 million roubles.