Russians who bought tour packages at the peak of currency exchange rate, start canceling tours and asking reconsideration of prices. Especially it concerns the early booking tours booked in December and March, at the peak of currency crisis. "This is quite a new trend that we encountered about a week ago," the representative of the Russian Union of Travel Industry Irina Tyurina commented.
The representative of TUI Russia confirmed that the company receives a lot of requests to rebook at a lower price. According to him, the procedure depends on the contract with a specific client. If it is possible to cancel without any penalties, the client gets the money back, and the tour operator creates a new reservation at a new price, explained in TUI Russia. "If you can not cancel without penalty, and the penalty exceeds the difference of the total price after the growth of the ruble, we try to find an alternative way to compensate for the difference in price, for example, to upgrade the room category," the representative of the company says.
Travel agency network MGP also indicated the intention of clients to cancel the tour and rebook it at a lower price, many customers requested that. But according to MGP, it rarely comes to real rebooking due to high cancellation fees of tour operators.
Irina Tyurina also noted that only big companies with big volumes are not willing to reconsider the price. At the same time, according to her information, penalties for cancellation are written in each agreement between tour operator and agent / tourist, but their size depends on the tour operator company.
Representatives of travel agencies noted that since the beginning of the year the exchange rate of ruble against US dollar increased by 17% and against euro by 27%. So the cost of tour packages denominated in foreign currency proportionally decreased. The tour packages get more expensive at the end of the last year. The peak price due to the weakening of the ruble was noted in January, when tour prices increased by 50%, and the summer forecast was announced as increase by 30%.
Yury Mishchenko, graduated from Moscow Institute of Foreign Languages, has more than 15 years experience in tourism and travel. Working both in tour operator company as destination manager, and in travel agency as sales manager, he is focused on analysis of Russian tour operators’ daily routine. Recently, Yury works in Baginet Marketing and Sales Agency.