In August, the Russian Government published on its website information about the amendments that were made to “Rules for rendering of services in realization of tourist product”. The new amendments oblige the tour operator or travel agent to inform the customer of the tourist product of the fact that the emergency assistance is provided at the expense of the compensation fund of Association of tour operators in outbound tourism, if the tour operator does not perform or performs improperly its obligations under the contract with the client.
In addition, new amendments provide the opportunity for the tourist or other customer of travel services to request the reimbursement at the expense of the fund of the tour operator personal liability of the actual damages resulting from a failure to carry out obligations under the contract by tour operator.
Tour operator activities – the activities on the formation, promotion and realization of tourist product, carried out by a legal entity.
Travel Agency activities – activities on the promotion and realization of tourist product, carried out by legal entity or individual entrepreneur.
“E Vesti” addressed to the tour companies to know their opinion about the new changes.
Sales director of “OneTouch&Travel”, Ivan Bublyaev: “Of course, such notifications have been made before, and they were made not only verbally. The information of the tour operator is always necessarily duplicated in the contract between the tour agency and the client and is, in fact, an integral part of the contract. It is difficult to say, how these changes may affect the relationship between a tourist and a travel agent. This is because the fact that when the agent clearly fulfills all legal requirements, he will continue to do it, and he will only include the necessary requirements into the contract. But we can definitely say that the relationship between the tour operator and travel agent will change towards a stronger control of retail outlets. And the tour operators will start concluding the contracts with new agencies more carefully, because under the new changes, the tour operator will be responsible for the quality of service provided by the travel agency manager to the end customer. Therefore, each tour operator will be interested in working only with well-qualified specialists having knowledge of destinations, their characteristics and the technology”.
Marketing and advertising director of “TravelBusinessService”, Maria Konabeeva: “As far as I know, nothing will change globally. There are the guarantees provided by tour operators and normal travel agencies always inform customers about all terms of service”.
Thus, the amendments will not change the principles of interaction of the tourist business participants, but they will ensure the protection of consumer rights in the field of outbound tourism.