Travel operators to be unable to refund canceled trips to Egypt

Egypt remains the most popular travel destination for Russians now,

Travel operators will be unable to fully refund the cost of travel to tourists that might not go to Egypt, otherwise this would automatically mean the bankruptcy of all of them, Russian Union of Travel Industry (RATI) press secretary Irina Tyurina told Interfax on Nov. 6.

"By travel operators' estimates, there are about 50,000 of our tourists in Egypt now. If government agencies issue official recommendations on not visiting Egypt, travel operators will be obliged to fully refund them the cost of their vouchers. But they'll be unable to do so: the companies simply don't have ways to get this money, as the money is not collected at one place but works. And the refund of all the money would mean the automatic bankruptcy of all travel operators, including the largest ones," Tyurina said.

Travel operators in this situation are likely to offer their clients the option of rescheduling trips to later dates or replacing them with other destinations, Tyurina said. "We had the same situation in 2011, when unrest in Egypt closed this destination to Russians for the whole season. Then a lot of tourists agreed to fly to another place, including to Turkey, or to pay extra and go to more remote destinations, such as the Maldives," Tyurina said.

Egypt remains the most popular travel destination for Russians now, and it is high season there at the moment, she said.

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