Travel firm temporarily stops Russia tourist services

By Quang Tue   March 18, 2022 | 06:58 am PT
Travel firm temporarily stops Russia tourist services
A Russian tourist arrives at Cam Ranh Airport, Khanh Hoa Province, December 26, 2021. Photo by VnExpress/Xuan Ngoc
The largest Vietnamese travel agency for Russian tourists has temporarily suspended its services for the market as a fallout of Western sanctions imposed on Russia.

Anex Vietnam Travel and Trading announced the suspension after taking more than 300 Russian tourists home Thursday.

Bui Quoc Dai, Deputy Director of Anex Vietnam, said they made the decision after Russian authorities advised the country’s airlines to halt all international flights (except from and to Belarus) following Western sanctions.

"We will stop conducting tours for customers from Russia at least until March 28, when Russian authorities are scheduled to announce further changes," Dai said.

Earlier this month, the Russian federal agency for aviation transport FAVT told Russian airlines "which have planes registered abroad under leasing contracts with foreign partners" to halt most international flights between March 6-8. It cited the "high level of risk for planes to be detained abroad" as reason for the recommendation.

Dai noted that the number of Russian tourists had fallen sharply since the end of February after Russia launched its "special military operation" in Ukraine. He said his firm has racked up losses despite receiving nearly 6,000 Russian visitors since last December, as they were unable to fill charter flights.

Vietnam tour operators specializing in Russian and Eastern European markets have also warned that the devaluation of the Russian ruble would affect the inbound market.

In 2019, Vietnam received a record 646,000 tourists from Russia, making it the sixth largest tourism market after mainland China, South Korea, Japan, Taiwan, and the U.S.

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