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MOSCOW, September 24. /ITAR-TASS/. Russia’s Culture Ministry has suggested a draft law aiming to reform a travel sector so that to strengthen the governmental control over tourism companies without interfering into their business operations, Culture Minister Vladimir Medinsky told reporters on Wednesday.
“Now the travel industry is in fact an example of ‘wild capitalism’ - with a total lack of state regulation that results in a huge amount of players, a very low threshold of business start-up opportunities, too low prices for services and minimum set of agencies,” Medinsky said.
The minister said that many tourism companies operated at a loss when expecting their would-be clients to come. So when a flow of demands weakens or stops, these companies cannot pay for tourists who bought their services, thus the customer is affected.
A draft law on the travel sector reform envisages that the Russian Federal Tourism Agency (Rostourism) will get a right to exclude travel companies from the registry of tour operators. Thus, a tour operator will not be capable of continuing activities if not listed there. So the registry of tour operators will become a tool for control and regulation of the market rather than a database on the Internet, Medinsky said.
The travel agencies will be denied the right to operate if not listed on the registry, either.
Besides, the Culture Ministry suggested that responsibility of tour operators and travel agencies should be strictly delimited, in particular, a tour agent will accept liability for the deal until money is transferred to a tour operator.