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List of Russia’s tour operators may shrink 30% by next summer

September 11, 2014, 18:47 UTC+3 MOSCOW
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MOSCOW, September 11. /ITAR-TASS/. In the wake of a string of bankruptcies in the Russian tourist industry experts are predicting the list of domestic tour companies may shrink 30% by next summer.

The market of tourist services in Russia is redundant, says Civic Chamber member, chairman of the Tourists’ Rights Protection Club, Roman Bobylyov, adding that the current register contained more than 1,500 names of legal entities, while just seven largest tourist brands incorporating about a hundred legal entities accounted for 70% of all foreign trips.

“I believe that by the summer of 2015 there will be no more than 500 legal entities left on the tourist market,” Bobylyov forecasts. “Not all of them will turn bankrupt. Many will just go out of business.”

“At the moment problems have hit the middle market segment, the companies have felt themselves more or less comfortably until just recently. But there is no reason to say that the industry is in some serious crisis,” the analyst believes. In his opinion the massive suspensions of operations by tourist companies that was observed of late was due to the fact that small companies had been trying to compete with market leaders only in prices. Their businesses were built on the financial pyramid principle.

A tide of bankruptcies hit the Russian tourist industry last July, when eighteen firms suspended operations. The companies blamed their problems on EU sanctions, exchange rate fluctuations and bans on foreign trips for members of Russia’s law enforcement agencies. However, experts said that in reality most unreliable pyramid-type tour operators wished to shirk responsibility.

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