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Russian tourism operators transfer to emergency assistance fund 160 mln roubles

May 06, 2013, 8:24 UTC+3

However, the fund is unable to settle all problems

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MOSCOW, May 6 (Itar-Tass) - Russian tourism operators have transferred to the fund to assist Russian tourists abroad 160 million roubles, the Rossiiskaya Gazeta reports Executive Director of TourAssistance Fund /Turpomoshch in Russian/ Vyacheslav Basov as saying.

The mechanism of assisting tourists, who need urgently help while abroad due to financial problems of tourist operators, became effective in Russia from May 4 via a compensation fund.

Tourism operators, selling tours abroad, were to make a payment of 100,000 roubles in order to fill the fund. Nowadays, Basov said, about 1,600 companies had made payments, and thus the fund’s account keeps about 160 million roubles.

Assistance may be provided if, for example, a tourist learns at the hotel that his or her accommodation has not been covered due to bankruptcy of a tourism operators, in this case the Fund will pay for a day’s accommodation, food, legal services and return to Russia. This may be possible if the situation may be qualified as the operator’s unfair actions to the tourist. As for other losses, for example where a tourist wants to receive a reimbursement for a hotel, which, say, had been prepaid for ten days, the clients should address insurance companies.

“We shall allow the operators to make payments to end of May,” Basov said. “There are many companies, and we realise it.”

However, the fund is unable to settle all problems. For example, at airports where chartered flights’ tickets are resold, some passengers have to be waiting for the departure for hours. Tourist also may face a situation with foreign hotel owners, where a “change of power” costs great nerves. A similar situation happened in late March-early April in Egypt. Several hundreds of Russian tourists could not get accommodation, as the hotel owners had changed.

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