BINH THUAN — Arrangements were made yesterday for 71 Russian tourists to begin their journeys home after they were stranded in central Binh Thuan Province when their tour operator went bankrupt.
|Russian tourrists preparing to leave Viet Nam at Tan Son Nhat International Airport. Viet Nam National Administration of Tourism hopes to complete the job in a few days. — Photo coutersy of Dan Tri Online Newspaper
The tourists, who bring the number of returned tourists to 206 out of the 309 total individuals who were affected, travelled to HCM City on the first leg of their return home.
Nguyen Van Tuan, head of the Viet Nam National Administration of Tourism told Nguoi Lao Dong (Labour) Newspaper that the administration was committed to getting the remaining tourists back to Russia by February 9.
The administration was making every effort to find a solution to the situation with the aim of building a beautiful image of Viet Nam not only among Russian tourists but for all international tourists, Tuan said.
Ivan Shumilov, one of the stranded tourists, told a Vietnam News Agency correspondent that he felt really sad because his trip had to end earlier than scheduled due to the unexpected bankruptcy of Lanta Tour Voyage.
However, the kind actions of the staff at the Seahorse Resort where he was staying made him feel better, he said.
Another of the tourists, Tnia, who was staying at the Bamboo Village said: "I only care about how quickly the problem is solved.
"One of the resort staff told me they would provide transportation for me and some of the other tourists to HCM City so we could return to our country," she said.
Thousands of Russian tourists all over the world were affected by the sudden bankruptcy of Lanta Tour Voyage, one of Russia's leading tour operators, last Friday.
At a meeting on Wednesday, the Russian Consul General in HCM City highly appreciated the prompt actions of the local People's Committee to find quick solutions to the problem.
Konstantin Prihodko, director of Lanta Tour Voyage's branch in Viet Nam, explained at a meeting that he had tried to inform the consul general's office of the situation when his phone line was suddenly cut.
He also blamed the local resorts for threatening him and for refusing to return the passports of his tourists.
Chairman of Binh Thuan Province's Tourism Association Nguyen Van Khoa said that Konstantin's words were completely baseless.
He said that although local resorts were victims of the situation, they had not received any support from the branch. — VNS