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Association of Tour Operators of Russia: more tour operators may quit market soon

In the wake of the latest bankruptcies the sales of vouchers in August slumped by 25% against July

MOSCOW, August 23. /ITAR-TASS/. Russia’s market of tour operators in the near future will see an exodus of players who are unable to cope with the critical situation, but no major bankruptcies are due, the executive director of the Association of Tour Operators of Russia, Maya Lomidze, has told ITAR-TASS.

She recalled that in the wake of the latest bankruptcies the sales of vouchers in August slumped by 25% against July. Tourist agencies received a really hard blow.

“Of late, three or four more or less high-profile tour agencies went out of business. We believe this is not the limit yet,” she said.

Most of the tour operators that had to suspend their business or close down are based in St. Petersburg. Lomidze explained that the city’s market was rather closed, local and independent.

“There are very few federal scale operators. ATOR analysts believe that the bankruptcy of the tour operator Neva triggered a domino chain reaction that hit many other market participants,” she said.

The demand slumped locally and its effect was most strongly felt at the point where it all started, in St. Petersburg, Lomidze said. She did not rule out that other St. Petersburg operators may declare soon they were pausing operations.

She doubts that Moscow may see anything of the sort, because in Moscow there are many federal scale operators that have offices across the nation.

“In Moscow there is some room for maneuver, something tour operators in St. Petersburg do not have,” Lomidze said.

Earlier on Friday the news arrived two tour operators: St. Petersburg’s Atlas and Bryansk’s Milana Tour had declared they were suspending business.

Three tour operators - Neva, Roza Vetrov Mir and Expo Tour declared they were unable to honor their liabilities to clients in July. Similar statements by Ideal Tour, Labirint, Intaer group of companies, and Nordic Star. Thousands of Russian tourists had their holiday plans harmed or ruined.