Executive Director of ATOR Maya Lomidze: the tourist market is on a “thin line” news about the possible bankruptcy of 60 percent of tour operators and predicted the Russian tourist business “collapse into the abyss.” Her words are reported by Interfax.
The speaker said that analysts do not confirm reports of massive bankruptcies of companies, so tourists can be calm. Nevertheless, she admitted that in recent months the market has been “on a fine line.” “And this is not connected with the financial condition, not with the stability of companies, but with the fulfillment of obligations for covid tours,” the expert explained.
Lomidze noted that most of the agencies (70 percent) have already fulfilled their obligations – according to the Federal Tourism Agency, the total amount of debts to travelers initially amounted to 24 billion rubles, and now they have decreased to seven billion rubles.
“According to our calculations, the figure is slightly higher – 10 billion rubles. Accordingly, about 200 thousand people can now be left without money and without an equivalent product, “the specialist added and clarified that we are talking about those tourists who purchased vouchers back in 2020, but could not use them.
According to Lomidze, the main problem is that now there are too few countries available to travelers from Russia. In this regard, travel companies cannot provide tourists with vouchers to alternative destinations in order to close obligations.
Earlier, the media reported that more than 60 percent of Russian tour operators will not be able to return money to tourists for failed pandemic travel packages. The business asked for an extension of the grace period for the obligation to return funds to clients for disrupted tours. Otherwise, the market will face a wave of bankruptcies – companies do not have enough free funds to pay off debts.