Bankrupt Bulgarian Operator's Clients Promised 'Trouble-Free' Holidays

Tourism | August 23, 2012, Thursday // 10:23|  views

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Russian tourists accommodated in Bulgaria via Bulgarian tour operator Bulgarian VIP Tours (BVT) will finish their holidays free of trouble, according to Bulgaria's Deputy Minister of Tourism Ivo Marinov.

"On Tuesday afternoon, the Ministry of Economy, Energy and Tourism received information about the financial condition of Bulgarian VIP Tours. Steps were taken to make sure that all tourists who are already in Bulgaria, or are yet to arrive can spend their holidays normally," Marinov said Thursday morning in an interview for the Bulgarian National Radio (BNR).

He explained that Russian tour operators traditionally worked with several Bulgarian companies, meaning that after BVT's announcement that it was stopping business operations, the tourists would be serviced by other Bulgarian tourist firms.

Marinov informed that the bankrupt company had been servicing around 1000 tourists, including Russians and citizens of Iran, Kazakhstan and Romania.

The Deputy Minister vowed that Russian tourists currently on holiday in Bulgaria would not experience any difficulties, while tourists from other countries were protected by an EU Directive saying that the tour operator is liable in cases of bankruptcies when the tourists cannot receive the service they paid for.

He added that the matter was regulated differently in the different countries.

Marinov assured that Bulgarian tour operators were ready to react, stressing that there would be no problems with tourists about to arrive or depart.

He also informed that there were no Bulgarians spending their holidays abroad serviced by BVT.

Bulgarian tourist company Bulgarian VIP Tours (BVT) informed its Russian partners that it was stopping operations on Wednesday afternoon.

"The management of Bulgarian VIP Tours (BVT) is very sorry to announce that we are forced to stop business operations. This is a very tough decision both for us and for you. The bankruptcy of one of our main partners, the postponement of new investments, and the atrocious conditions imposed by creditors brought us to this situation in which we are unable to continue our activities," BVT's  letter said.

Irina Turina, press-secretary of Russian Tourist Industry Union, argued Wednesday that the bankruptcy would affect some 400-500 tourists who are now staying in different Bulgarian resorts, causing damages of up to EUR 300 000.

She explained that BVT had not managed to recover from the bankruptcy of Capital Tour, a major Russian tour operator owing EUR 2M to the Bulgarian company.

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Tags: Russian tourists, tour operator, bankruptcy, Ministry of Economy, Energy and Tourism, Deputy Minister, Ivo Marinov, EU Directive


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