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Thousands of Russian tourists blocked in Greece

05 August 2014 / 17:08:16  GRReporter
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Two tour operators that would bring thousands of tourists to Greece went bankrupt in Russia within a few days. At the same time, about 10,000 tourists have remained blocked in Greece.

Days after the collapse of the big tour operator Labirint the smaller company Intaer through which 10,000 tourists had booked their holiday in Greece filed for bankruptcy. A message on the web site of the tour operator announced its bankruptcy, reading that it will suspend its activity as of 5 August.

According to representatives of other Russian tour operators, Intaer failure was caused by that of Labirint, as the smaller company was buying airline tickets from the bigger agency. Thus, due to the bankruptcy of Labirint, Intaer could not pay for the booked airline seats and it was therefore forced to suspend its activities.

Representatives of the Greek tourism business believe the customers of the bankrupt tour operator who are currently in Greece are about 500 in number and are concentrated mainly in Corfu, Rhodes and Crete. Sources in the Russian market argue that the guarantee letters of Intaer are worth about 30 million roubles, which is around one million euro. The insurance company that cooperates with the tour operator is considered as stable in Russia but the amount is too low to cover the cost of all its customers.

The bankruptcy of the large tour operator, Labirint, has mobilised the Greek tourism industry. The main reason for the failure was the financial difficulties of the tour operator that followed the bankruptcy of the company owning Ideal-Tour. The amount of its obligations at present is 31 million euro.

According to various estimates, between 15,000 and 20,000 customers of Labirint are abroad and the total number of Russians who have booked holidays in different countries by the end of September is 200,000. The Association of Greek Tourism Enterprises reports that between 8,000 and 10,000 customers of the tour operator are in Greece at present. Association president Andreas Andreadis states that the tourists will continue their vacation in the country without problems because the insurance company to the Russian government will cover the cost of their stay. It is expected that it will pay them the compensation due for damages. According to Andreadis the Greek businessmen from the tourism sector will be compensated by the organisation as well. He advised hoteliers to be calm and not to react spontaneously as this would spoil Greece’s image at the height of the tourist season.

At the same time a meeting held at the Ministry of Tourism aimed at adopting an action plan in relation to the bankruptcy and mostly in connection with the 8,000 Russian tourists who have booked holidays in Greece through the tour operator in question.

In statements after the meeting, Minister of Tourism Olga Kefaloyianni said that, for the time being, the Greek tourism market guarantees the stay of the tourists and their return to Russia. In her words, it is not expected that the failure of the two tour operators will affect Greek tourism as Russian tourists are booking their stay through other tour operators.

Tags: EconomyCompaniesTour operatorRussiaBankruptcyTouristsGreece
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