During the last week (from March 17 to March 23, 2020) a number of Russian tourist groups being abroad via tour operators have declined from 100 thousand to 57,8 thousand people. Most of tour groups return to Russia from Southeast Asia, Caribbean countries and Turkey.
‘Almost all organized tourists will return to the territory of the Russian Federation until March 31. More than half among those will be able to return to Russia as planned – with the tickets they bought. Thiswillhappeninthenextfewdays. The remaining tourist groups are expected to be returned to Russia before the end of the month either as planned or earlier than the day of planned departure, since tour operators now offer earlier options to return home. In terms of individual tourists that encounter difficulties to return to the Russian Federation, the Federal Agency for Tourism in close cooperation with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Federal Air Transport Agencies now seeking the solution of challenging situations that occur, such as cases with Morocco and the Philippines’ - the Head of the Federal Agency for Tourism in the Russian Federation ZarinaDoguzova says.
On March 19, 2020, the Federal Agency for Tourism advised Russian citizens to refrain temporarily from travelling abroad until the epidemiological situation returns to normal conditions. Russian tour operators were recommended to temporarily refrain from sending Russian tourists to other countries and provide them with maximum assistance to rebook their travel dates to a later date. Most of tour operators followed recommendations, having stopped any outbound tourism. At present, they only provide tourist with help to return to Russia.
Zarina Doguzova added, ‘I would like to thank tour operators who followed our recommendation in light of the current situation and suspended to send Russian tourists abroad. Our Agency support a clear and effective interaction with this branch of tourist industry. Tour operators are well aware of existing risks and show a high level of responsibility, especially to their clients. What is more, having temporarily suspended service implementation of offering tours abroad, the industry makes an active contribution to normalization of epidemiological situation in the country’.