Tour operators have found a way out of the crisis: not to pay customers for the annuled tours until 2022
The Association of Russian Tour Operators (ATOR) asked the government to allow tour operators not to pay tourists the compensation for the canceled tours until 2022.
As it is reported by Interfax ATOR offers the following deferral mechanism: travel companies will issue certificates of deposit to clients requiring compensation. The certificate will confirm the preservation of customer funds from the tour operator, as well as the ability to use the certificate for a certain period of time.
A client whose tour has been canceled will receive the right to choose any tour or tour operator service for the amount paid by him.
This initiative arose against the backdrop of enormous losses in tourism infrastructure arising from the almost complete suspension of passenger air travel. Recall that from March 27 of the current year, air communication with all countries was suspended in the Russian Federation, and hotels were closed on March, 28. Earlier, ATOR stated that in total, tourists need to return 37 billion rubles in the form of compensations.
"Forcing the tour operator to pay funds for the tour at one time will lead to a forced stoppage of activity and, as a result, to failure to fulfill obligations to those tourists who are ready to postpone the terms of the tour," - the ATOR said.
Maya Lomidze, the Executive Director of ATOR, told Sputnik Radio that this measure will help tourists somehow guarantee their holidays, and businesses will restructure their obligations so that the tour operator does not close before the tourist receives these guarantees.
“The issuance of certificates, provided in a certain way, is at least some guarantee that people will either get their vacation, or if they don’t like it, after some time they will be able to demand a refund. Now most travel companies offer customers transfer of the tour date. Moreover, no one knows when normalization will come, when it will be possible to fulfill its obligations and what will happen to the industry by that time, "said Maya Lomidze.
A reasonable question arises: in Russia the Civil Code is in force, it regulates the legal relations between travel agencies and their clients. Any tourist whose paid tour was annuled, has the right to go to court and indemnify the loss. How can a government repeal a law?
ATOR refers to international experience. For example, the German authorities granted tour operators and airlines the right to defer payments until 2022, and the French authorities gave companies 18 months to pay consumers for frustrated tours.
Earlier, the vice-president of the Association of Tour Operators Dmitry Gorin has already stated that the best way out of this situation would be to rebook the clients with tours to a later date.