HomeTourismCan tourists get their money back for a tour to Abkhazia?

Can tourists get their money back for a tour to Abkhazia?

Tourists who cancel an already booked trip to Abkhazia will not be able to get a full refund for tours, despite warning from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs about the risks when visiting the republic.

Lawyers are confident that the department’s statement will not have any legal consequences. “This is a recommendation from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, nothing more. Nobody prohibits the sale of tours. In order for there to be a return, the Ministry of Economic Development as a regulator must declare a threat to security in the country,” says Dmitry Davydenko, chairman of the All-Russian Association of Tourists.

“This statement is not an official notification of the existence of a threat to the safety of life and health of citizens in the sense in which this is provided for in Article 14 of the Federal Law “On the Fundamentals of Tourism Activities in the Russian Federation.” It does not contain recommendations for tour operators and travel agents to refrain from selling tours to Abkhazia,” lawyer Igor Kositsyn explained to Tourdom.ru.

Thus, the warning from the ministry is not grounds for terminating the contract between the travel agency and its client. If a tourist refuses to travel to Abkhazia, he will be able to return the money only minus the expenses actually incurred by the tour operator (FPR). This amount will depend largely on how a particular hotel behaves: how much it will impose a fine for refusal to accommodate.

Retail representatives report that there are already a lot of orders for tours to Abkhazia for the 2024 season: “There are enough reservations, especially for the spring to the Boxwood Grove, there are also clients who want to go in the summer.”

Regarding travel refusals, according to experts, everything will depend on the information background. “If it all ends here and the authorities do not continue to push the pressure, there will be no refusals and demand will not decrease,” says one of the travel agents selling tours to the republic.

From 10% of participants survey¸ conducted in the telegram channel “Roof of TourDom”, who were planning a vacation in Abkhazia, after the warning from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, a third are going to cancel their trips, another 20% will think about whether to go. However, it can be assumed that, having learned that a full refund is not possible, tourists will still not terminate contracts with travel agencies.

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The majority (64%) of respondents did not intend to vacation in Abkhazia this year in any case. 10% have already been to the republic before, so this year they will spend their vacation at another resort.

Nevertheless, Abkhazia remains the most popular foreign tourist destination. According to the Republic’s Ministry of Tourism, 1.3 million Russians vacationed there in 2023. And according to the Russian FSB, the number of border crossings by our citizens for any travel purpose amounted to 5.75 million.

Source: Tourdom

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