Russian Tour Operators to Receive $46mn in Government Help

The Russian government has allocated up to 3.5 billion rubles ($47.3 million) from the country’s reserve fund to reimburse tour operators for their losses due to the coronavirus outbreak, Regnum reported.

The funds will be used to reimburse expenses incurred in implementing measures – under agreements on sales of tourist products in international tourism under the limits of coronavirus infection; returning tourists from high and middle-risk countries, the statement said.

The Federal Tourism Agency (Rosturizm) will monitor the use of these budget allocations and submit a report before October 1, 2020.

“We expect that the provided subsidies will allow us to compensate at least part of the costs and fulfill our obligations to tourists. Air transportation makes up on average 50% of the cost of the tour package, so this measure will support the business in this difficult situation,” Head of the Federal Agency for Tourism Zarina Doguzova said.

Subsidies will allow tour operators to accelerate the return of funds to tourists for canceled tours, the Ministry of Economic Development told TASS. 

Doguzova added that the Agency is developing a program to restore the tourism industry after the epidemiological situation returns to normal.

“Now, together with the industry, we are developing a program to restore the tourism industry after the situation normalizes,” the official said.

In particular, measures to stimulate domestic and international tourism are discussed, Doguzova added. The drop in load and bookings in hotels in some regions reaches 95-100%, she said.

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