Author`s name Olga Savka

Russian tourists in Thailand refuse to be rescued

A lot of Russian tourists decided to change their vacation plans and have a rest in other regions

Travel agencies started paying money back to those Russian tourists, whose holiday plans have been ruined with the mammoth earthquake and tidal waves in Southeast Asia.

According to the press secretary of the Russian union of the tourist industry, Irina Tyurina, Russian travel agencies have conducted serious talks with spokespeople for Thai hotels and achieved an agreement to return the money to tourists. However, Tyurina added, it goes about only a part of the money that the people paid for their stay in hotels.

The press secretary also said that certain travel firms use their own sources to return the money to their clients: “It is noteworthy that agents offer tourists an alternative – either to delay a trip or choose a different destination. Some people have already had their money back, although one may not say that it happens in every travel agency, where tourists booked tours in Southeast Asia. The majority of companies are currently taking care of the clients, who are currently staying in the disastrous region,” Irina Tyurina said.

”A lot of Russian tourists decided to change their vacation plans and have a rest in other regions. Some people fly to Bali Island, others chose to go to United Arab Emirates and Egypt. A lot of Russian tourists left for Aqaba, Jordan – the first charter flight to the resort city was organized very quickly,” Tyurina said.

It is too early to evaluate the damage that Russian travel agencies have suffered as a result of the disaster in the countries of Southeast Asia. A lot of companies will start calculating the losses at the end of January.

Spokespeople for Russian travel agencies started negotiations with managers of Sri Lankan hotels, who had previously stated that they were not going to return the money to tourists. “They are ready to discuss the situation now, for they are interested in maintaining the partnership. Sri Lankan hotels will either pay cash to Russian tourists or use the mutual settlement scheme to reimburse with people,” the press secretary of the Russian union of the tourist industry said.

Russian tourists are currently returning from the countries of Southeast Asia that were hit with tidal waves. About 200 Russian tourists have already returned from the region. The majority of them have returned home from the Maldives; 50 tourists have returned to Russia from Sri Lanka. Another jetliner with no passengers on board has left to Thailand from Moscow to take over 200 Russian tourists from Phuket Island. It is worth mentioning that some tourists still refuse to leave Thailand ahead of the scheduled time.

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