Ukraine conflict causing Russian travel operators to close down

Victoria
By Victoria August 5, 2014 08:18

Ukraine conflict causing Russian travel operators to close down

Russian tourism officials have reported that up to 16,000 travellers are stranded abroad after the latest in a string of travel operator failures due to the consequences of the ongoing conflict in Ukraine.

Tour operator Labirint (Labyrinth) announced over last weekend that it had ceased operations, leaving 27,000 Russians “abroad without return tickets,” according to the Tourhelp service of Russian foreign tour agencies.

Officials said that after making emergency arrangements they had been able to bring a third home, cutting the number stuck abroad to just under 16,000.

Oleg Safonov, acting head of tourism agency Rostouris, said: “We hope to have everyone home by the end of the week.”

The effect on the Russian economy of new Western sanctions and a declining currency, has caused the number of Russians travelling abroad to drop by up to half.

Labirint is the fourth Russian tour operator to close down in the past three weeks, stranding more than 50,000 abroad, as concerns over the conflict in Ukraine have led to a drop in bookings for overseas trips.

Rostourism spokeswoman Irina Shchegolkova said: “We worry that this is only the beginning and that there will be a domino effect.”

Victoria
By Victoria August 5, 2014 08:18