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It was proposed to count the financial guarantees of tour operators not on revenue, but on the number of tourists

The Russian Union of Travel Industry proposes to limit the maximum size of the tour operator’s personal liability fund and maintain the preferential rate of the annual contribution to the FPO at a level of no more than 0.25% with a deferred payment until April 2025. TourDom.ru was informed about this by Ilya Umansky, President of PCT, General Director of tour operator ALEAN, adding that the relevant proposals were included in the resolution of the strategic session on outbound tourism, which was held at the end of January, and will additionally be sent to the Ministry of Economic Development.

At the strategic session, tour operators once again raised the issue of payments to the funds. According to representatives of large companies, the current provision, which forces people to pay 1% of revenue to a personal liability fund, actually leaves this money out of the market. And the amounts are huge – taking into account the accumulated funds, they can reach several billion rubles. At the same time, as the companies note, the funds could be used to develop domestic tourism, the prospects of which and the need for investment, in particular, in new routes, are spoken by the authorities.

Previously, there was a moratorium on payments to the FPO, introduced in 2020 due to the pandemic. However, its effect ended in 2023. Tour operators now have until April 15 to make payments, and it’s no wonder they’re sounding the alarm. At the same time, market participants propose various mechanisms on how the problem could be solved. For example, the introduction of maximum and minimum limits is most often discussed. “The ideal option would be to extend the moratorium on payments for at least a year, since the situation in the industry is not the calmest from the point of view of the fact that exchange rate influences are increasingly stronger, which means that operators’ gross ruble revenue is reflected in a larger volume, even despite the low indicators sales This factor must be taken into account. Or enter stories based on the number of tourists, and not on revenue,” Arthur Muradyan, vice-president of the Association of Tour Operators of Russia, general director of the tour operator Space Travel, told TourDom.ru, adding that the issue is very complex, there is still no single solution.

In any case, the moratorium is a temporary measure. Changes need to be made to the legislation, in particular to the sectoral law “On the fundamentals of tourism activities in the Russian Federation.” However, such changes may not happen soon. According to the road map for tourism development, signed a month ago by Mikhail Mishustin, only in December the State Duma will begin to discuss the industry law, and adoption is planned for mid-2025. “It is necessary to amend the Federal Law and establish the maximum and minimum size of the fund, stop deductions when it is sufficiently filled. It’s better to completely reconsider the financial support system, which is outdated both legally and economically,” says Georgy Mokhov, founder of the legal agency Persona Grata.

As for the extension of the grace period, which tour operators are counting on, the forecasts for them are most likely disappointing. “We need a serious justification for the extension – in the absence of a pandemic and with growing tourist flows,” commented Georgy Mokhov.

We previously wrote that, according to the head of the Tourist Assistance association, Alexander Osaulenko, the total price of the tourism product in 2019 was just over 116 billion rubles, in 2022 – 140 billion, and in 2023 – more than 191 billion rubles. At the same time, according to Osaulenko’s estimates, about 1.5 billion rubles will be withdrawn from the volume of tour operators’ working capital as financial guarantees this year.

Source: Tourdom



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