Troubled Russian Tour Operator Loses License after China Scandal

A bankrupt Russian tour operator agency which stranded hundreds of tourists in China was stripped of its license by Russia’s tourism watchdog, Rosturizm.

The last of the stranded tourists, who were sold fake tickets by the Pearl River travel agency, were arriving home on Friday, RIA News reported.

According to Russian media, nearly 5,500 customers of Pearl River, who bought vouchers for flights and arrangements on the Chinese island of Hainan, were left without their vacations. The tour operator’s insurance coverage would not be enough to pay all the compensation, the press service of the Federal Tourism Agency said.

“Thus, the legal basis was provided for obtaining insurance compensation by 5,420 tourists who were not able to render the Pearl River acquired by them as part of the tourism product. At the same time, the total amount of obligations of the Pearl River to tourists exceeds the total amount of insurance coverage under contracts of insurance of civil liability of two legal entities of the tour operator of personal liability funds,” the press service added.

Last week, a spokesman for Pearl River said they informed the country’s Consulate General in China that about 230 tourists who came to China with Pearl River had no return ticket.

The authorities said that tourists will be able to receive compensation only from travel insurance coverage by Orbita, used by the two Pearl River companies. Taking into account the total number of tourists who did not get what they pay for, they will be able to return no more than 10% of the money spent, Russian media wrote.