Last Batch of Bulgaria-Stranded Russian Tourists Set to Be Rescued

Tourism | September 23, 2011, Friday // 13:44|  views

The Alma Tour scandal left close to 1,000 international tourists, most of them Russians, stranded at Bulgarian Black Sea airports. Photo by BGNES

The last group of Russian tourists stranded in Bulgaria due to a conflict between two Bulgarian companies will be transported to their home country late on Friday, it has been reported.

A total of 103 Russian tourists will be on board of a Bulgaria Air flight supposed to take off at 22:00 local time Friday, a representative of the country's Ministry of Economy, Energy and Tourism has told the Bulgarian National Radio.

The crisis that is expected to seriously damage Bulgaria's reputation as a tourist destination started on September 9, when almost a thousand tourists, mostly Russian and Finnish, were unable to fly back to their home country due to an intercorporate conflict between the Alma Tour tour operator and the Bulgaria Air airline carrier.

On Tuesday, it was announced that all companies in the group of Alma Tour have filed for bankruptcy.

Bulgaria's Commission on Consumer Protection, has already stated it will launch an investigation of improper handling of business on the part of the company.

Problems with Alma Tour surfaced some ten days ago, when close to 1,000 international tourists, most of them Russians, were stranded at Bulgarian Black Sea airports of Burgas and Varna.

Their flights were cancelled by carrier Bulgaria Air over what it claimed to be EUR 3.6 M debts from Alma Tour, which had booked the tourists' trips.

According to information released Tuesday, the biggest creditor of Alma Tour is the Bulgarian Commercial Corporate Bank, with which the company has pledged its assets for EUR 13 M.

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Tags: tourists, Russian, Finnish, Bulgaria, Bulgaria, air, Alma Tour, Burgas


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