Rostourism Warns Travelers of Risks of Canceling Trips

The current recommendation of Rospotrebnadzor does not exempt tourists from penalties for canceling tours to China, Interfax reported citing the Federal Tourism Agency.

“You can get a full refund for a canceled tour only if there is a security risk, and this is indicated. Such orders of the Rospotrebnadzor are issued with reference to article 14 of the Law on tourism,” a representative of the agency said.

He added that the situation with the spread of the new coronavirus in China may change at any time, and Rospotrebnadzor may issue a new order.

On January 24, Rospotrebnadzor recommended abstaining from traveling to China until the epidemiological situation stabilized there. On Friday afternoon, the press secretary of the Russian Union of Travel Industry (PCT) Irina Tyurina said that after these recommendations, tourists who paid for tours in China could qualify for a full refund if the trip was canceled.

“According to the Law on tourism, if the authorized federal executive body (Rostourism, Rospotrebnadzor) informs tour operators, travel agents and tourists about a security risk in the country (place) of temporary residence, and the presence of these circumstances is confirmed by relevant decisions (recommendations) of federal government bodies, upon termination of the contract for the sale of a tourist product in connection with the onset of these circumstances, tourists are entitled to a refund. The event returns the full cost of the voucher, after the start – part of it in the amount proportional to the cost of the services rendered,” she said.

The cancellation of tours to Thailand and Vietnam does not give the right to a full refund since there are no recommendations for these countries, Tyurina added.

A new coronavirus that causes pneumonia is spreading rapidly in China. The source of the outbreak is Wuhan. According to the latest data, 882 cases of infection were confirmed in the country, 26 people died, 35 were cured.

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