Zima-Leto: Capital Tour’s partners suffer loss

6 December 2010 (18:05)

UrBC, Yekaterinburg, December 2, 2010. The travel agents who cooperated with Capital Tours tour operator are now suffering losses.
Capital Tours’ problems began on November 15 when Russia’s major tour operator’s accounts were frozen by the creditor banks, so the company was unable to provide for the trips booked by its customers. Capital Tours could be saved through capital investment (some $15m were needed), and there actually were some investors who offered the money to the company. One such investor was the International Financial Club Bank controlled by Mikhail Prokhorov. The bank offered the money in exchange for the company’s controlling shareholding, but the transaction never went through.
According to the Director of Zima-Leto Group Olga Gulyar, some tourists did manage to go on vacation after all thanks to the efforts of some travel agents that did their best not to let these people down. The agents decided to accept all the expenses Capital Tours was to have made.
‘We had to spend our own money to make sure the tourists who bought Capital Tours’ trips from us could make these trips. We are now negotiating with the tour operator and its insurer for the reimbursement, and we hope we’ll be placed on the respective compensation lists. Many other travel agents chose to receive Capital Tours’ compensations first and give the travelers their money back later. The law naturally does not make it obligatory for the travel agents to help its customers, but we just couldn’t leave our clients without any help and support,’ Ms Gulyar said.
‘Capital Tours’ financial guarantees come to 100 million RUR, whereas the number of tourists who never made their trips comes to 8,000 people in Ural Federal District alone. Even if one tour comes to as little as 15,000 RUR, a tour operator will need about 120 million RUR to pay everyone back. This means Capital Tours comes to owe increasingly more money to its customers and the payoff might take years to complete,’ she added.

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