Russian Tour Operators Cancel July Trips Abroad
Russian tour operators, including big names such as PEGAS Touristik, TEZ Tour, Coral Travel and Intourist, began canceling their announced trips abroad in July, including to Bulgaria. According to them, there are no great hopes for international tourism to recover at least until August. This leaves a chance for just one month of summer vacation abroad, as the school year in Russia begins on September 1 and most families stop traveling.
The news is published by the Association of Tour Operators of Russia ATOR, according to which the main reason is the continuing uncertainty whether and when the restrictions will fall in Europe and the world. Russia itself suspended flights and closed its borders on March 27, and on June 8 was allowed to travel abroad for work, study and care for sick relatives.
Some operators have canceled offers and reservations until July 16, but most cover the entire month. Customers are offered to transfer the holidays and excursions for the period between August 1 and November 15, 2020 or even transfer them directly to July next year.
The EU is due to announce which third countries it will open its borders to tomorrow at the latest, but Western media outlets today cite a working option agreed between member states with only 15 names, and Russia is not among them.
ANEX Tour, for example, announces for July trips to Bulgaria, Greece, Croatia, Spain and Cyprus, but also to Turkey and Montenegro, that reservations can be moved free of charge for September 1 - December 20 or January 10 - July 31, 2021.
TEZ Tour has also announced free transfer of charter flights to Bulgaria.
"When asked when the borders will open, the only thing we hear is 'It depends on the epidemiological situation,'" Irina Tyurina, a spokeswoman for the Russian Tourism Industry Union, told RBC.
She added that other countries did not want Russians because the country was the world's third most infected.
"Tunisia, for example, which has always been friendly to tourists from Russia, has put us on its red list."
Countries such as France, Italy, Spain and Germany will suffer less from the shock in the sector, according to the World Tourism Organization. The reason is that the share of tourism there is not as large as in countries such as Greece, Turkey, Bulgaria, Croatia, Montenegro, where it exceeds 10% of GDP./Econ.bg
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