A “cry from the heart”, addressed to Rostourism, with a call to “deal with” tour operators, was posted by an initiative group of travel agencies in social networks. The appeal itself was published on the channel in Yandex.Zen – and, in modern fashion, is accompanied by hashtags like “I want to work according to the law.”
The situation, as the travel agents explained, is as follows: “now tour operators have unilaterally refused to fulfill their obligations, and by canceling tours they play on the exchange rate difference, forcing them to pay extra for fully paid tours at the new rate: canceled tours are transferred to other dates at site prices (despite the fact that the tours were booked and paid for the Early Booking promotion) and at the current rate. “It is unacceptable!” – they cry out and publish the following appeal, which they propose to send to the head of Rostourism, Zarina Doguzova. We quote this document verbatim:
“Today, in this difficult time for the country and every time, it is necessary to unite and stand up for the rights of Russian tourists who are faced with unlawful actions of tour operators!
- Many tour operators unilaterally refused to fulfill their obligations, which is contrary to Part 1, Art. 310 of the Civil Code of the Russian Federation.
- Tour operators offer any rebookings and transfers to later dates at a new, much higher rate, even if the main parameters of the tour do not change. Even when the hotel agrees to accept tourists later at no extra charge! Thus, tour operators offer to pay again for already paid services, which violates the Federal Law – 2300-1 on consumer protection.
- For those tourists who want to return the money, tour operators also deny their legal right, without any reason, substituting travel agents and tourists.
- Some tour operators prohibit rebooking and transferring paid funds to tours in Russia .
We believe that in the current situation it is impossible to cash in on Russian tourists and we ask Rostourism and personally Doguzova Z.V. understand the situation and approve uniform rules for tour operators that will protect the rights of tourists, namely to oblige tour operators:
- Make transfers and rebookings for the same tourists in rubles at the rate on the day of payment for the tour. With the same hotel and destination, all rebookings are free of charge.
- When changing directions, convert to another currency at the time of payment.
- Do not require additional payment for existing non-cancelled tours until the situation is clarified with flight program. Make refunds for unilaterally canceled tours within 5 days.
Otherwise, we will be forced to submit collective applications to the Prosecutor's Office of the Russian Federation, Rospotrebnadzor of the Russian Federation, and the Department of Economic Crime to conduct an audit and assess the legality of the actions of tour operators. Tourists should not once again suffer and lose their money!”
“Since 2020, it was we who supported tour operators afloat, without receiving a well-deserved material reward for our work, and only suffered losses. We persuaded tourists to wait for the money until the end of 2021, persuaded them to reschedule tours. All the work we have done on rebooking and rescheduling tours is much more complicated than the process of selecting and booking a tour,” the authors of the appeal add. At the same time, they emphasize that “all the work over the past 2 years was done by us for free, we returned all our commissions to tourists, our work was devalued.” “It’s time for us to unite, defend our rights, support our tourists and let outbound tourism survive,” the initiative group adds.
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