13 May 2022 09:20

Travel cos owe tourists 40 bln rubles for vacations cancelled after Feb 24 - Russian agency

MOSCOW. May 13 (Interfax) - Travel companies owe tourists as much as 40 billion rubles for tours that were paid for but cancelled after February 24, Federal Tourism Agency head Zarina Doguzova said on Thursday.

"This huge debt that formed on foreign destinations, it is only possible to start paying it somehow to tourists if at least several mass-market destinations open. Otherwise there is no way, because this money has already been paid to service providers, paid to hotels, for some sort of excursions and so on. The amount is huge, tour operators' debt to tourists is now essentially 40 billion rubles," Doguzova said at a meeting of the State Duma Committee for Tourism and Tourism Infrastructure Development.

After the start of the coronavirus pandemic and closure of borders, travel companies' debt to tourists who could not take their paid-for trips abroad totaled 44 billion rubles, the Tourism Agency estimated. This debt had shrunk to 6.5 billion rubles by February 2022.

However, due to the suspension of flights to most countries after February 24, a new debt has accumulated.