Bankruptcies in Russia leave thousands stranded

Operators including Labirint and Neva stop operations

Four travel companies have suspended operations in Russia in a month, leaving tens of thousands of tourists stranded in various countries.

The major Russian tour operator Labirint stopped operations yesterday, citing a “negative political and economic situation” and leaving around 25,000 clients stranded overseas.

The company said it could not withstand the combined effect of poor bookings on foreign travel – provoked by a Kremlin ban on foreign travel by many state employees as well as a sharp weakening of the ruble eroding Russians’ purchasing power.

Some hotels in Spain and Greece are evicting Labirint clients, Russia’s state travel watchdog Rosturism told the news agency Interfax.

Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev personally ordered his deputy Dmitry Kozak to take the situation under control.

“This is some kind of a breakdown, I do not remember anything like this happening before,” the prime minister said.

Neva, one of Russia’s oldest tour agencies, and two smaller companies halted operations in July.

The Moscow Times

[pictured: South coast, Crete]

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