Belarusian travel agencies are trying to make money on Egypt and Turkey, which are “closed” for Russian tourists, by offering package tours to these destinations for Russians. So far, such a tourist flow is small, and tourists organize a transfer to Belarus on their own. However, experts do not exclude that Russian travel agencies may also join such a scheme in a “shadow” way. Interestingly, problems in this case can threaten travel agencies because of the sales of Turkey, but not Egypt.
Thus, in particular, package tours to Egypt and Turkey were offered to Russian tourists by the Belarusian travel company «5 stars» on its page in social networks. According to «Lenta.ru» information, travel agency employees confirmed that the company is actively selling vouchers to Egypt and Turkey to Russians. For example, tourists can fly to Hurghada by regular charters from Minsk. To book a tour, travelers from Russia only need to provide passport data. Payment for the voucher is carried out via the Internet.
At the same time, according to representatives of the travel agency, the tourist flow is still small — on flights to Egypt, on average, no more than 2-3 Russian tourists, but it is possible that their number will increase.
Experts also do not exclude that Russian travel agencies, despite all the attempts of Rospotrebnadzor to «nightmare» them, may not resist the temptation to sell their usual product in a «shadow» way. How it can threaten — a lawyer commented on the correspondent of the TURPROM information group.
«By the Decree of the President of the Russian Federation No. 553» On certain measures to ensure the national security of the Russian Federation and the protection of citizens of the Russian Federation from criminal and other illegal actions «, tour operators and travel agents were recommended, for the duration of the ban established by paragraph 1 of this Decree, to refrain from selling a tourist product to citizens providing for air transportation (including commercial) of citizens from the territory of the Russian Federation to the territory of the Arab Republic of Egypt, ”commented Alexander Bayborodin, head of the law firm of Alexander Bayborodin. Accordingly, from the «letter of the law» it follows that recommendations are given only in relation to air transportation carried out precisely from the territory of the Russian Federation to the territory of Egypt. “Thus, the sale of a tourist product by Russian tour operators and travel agents, which provides for air transportation (including commercial) of citizens of the Russian Federation from the territory of the Republic of Belarus to Egypt, is not subject to the decree under consideration,” the lawyer assessed the formal side of the issue.
As for Turkey, the situation is different here. «After the well-known events, on November 28, 2015, the President of the Russian Federation signed Decree No. 583» On measures to ensure the national security of the Russian Federation and the protection of citizens of the Russian Federation from criminal and other illegal actions and on the application of special economic measures in relation to the Republic of Turkey «, according to which tour operators and travel agents should refrain from selling to the citizens of the Russian Federation a tourist product that involves visiting the territory of the Republic of Turkey, ”recalled Alexander Bayborodin.
The expert highlighted several points from the literal interpretation of this norm. “Firstly, it is forbidden to sell a tourist product that envisages visiting the territory of the Turkish Republic specifically for citizens of the Russian Federation. Secondly, the sale of any tourist product that involves visiting the territory of the Republic of Turkey is prohibited — this means that those tours that provide for transit travel through the Republic of Turkey or with departure from the territory of a foreign state (incl. Republic of Belarus), and tours, services for which are provided directly on the territory of the Republic of Turkey. Thus, companies implementing a tourist product that provides for visiting the territory of Turkey, even with a flight from a foreign state, will be liable in accordance with the legislation of the Russian Federation, ”summed up Alexander Bayborodin.
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