Representatives of the tourism industry told RIA Novosti how the Mouzenidis problems affected the rest of Russians in Greece. Is it possible to revive the giant of the tourism industry?
The founder and head of the largest Greek company passed away in March this year. Boris Mouzenidis… After his death, problems began, growing like a snowball. In the end, a message appeared from an employee of the host company of the tour operator “Mouzenidis Travel”, which reported temporary suspension services for tourists in Greece. The break in the activities of the host company was explained by the negotiations that its leadership is conducting with the Greek government, expecting financial assistance from it.
Many Russian tour operators have worked with this company. They are now transferring applications from Mouzenidis to other host companies in Greece, industry representatives tell RIA Novosti. One of them says:
“We are obliged to fulfill our obligations to tourists, because the vouchers were bought from us, not from Mouzenidis. We are now re-paying for hotel reservations and transferring clients who go to Greece to other companies that receive Russian travelers. But this whole situation inspires fear in travel agents who are now afraid to book Greece because many operators have worked with Mouzenidis. “
Anna Lutkova, representing TBG and Hot Tours, notes the beneficial cooperation with Mouzenidis, which offers stable discounts, a hotel chain, and its own private carriages. She says:
“I would like to note that despite the difficulties that the Greek tour operator is experiencing, he fulfills all his obligations to agents and tourists, getting in touch and offering rebooking to alternative destinations. We look forward to a positive outcome of events and further fruitful cooperation with the tour operator.”
Profitable cooperation with the largest Greek company generating a large tourist flow from Russia, Bulgaria, the Balkan Peninsula is confirmed by other companies:
“Because of this volume, hotels offered them the best financial terms.”
Russian travel agents hope that Mouzenidis will cope with the difficulties that have arisen and will again take a leading position in the Greek tourism industry:
“The media write that the company is in the process of reorganization and, perhaps, they will be able to refinance the debts that have formed and start anew. After all, there are good precedents in the tourism market for overcoming such negative situations.”
Although, according to Sergei Agafonov, head of the travel agency network “Last Minute Vouchers”, this is not easy and, in case of failure, threatens with unprecedented losses:
“The situation is such that, most likely, the paid vacation will disappear from tourists, but nevertheless any agency will agree to find a compromise option. There will be financial guarantees, but they will not be enough for everyone, and we understand this.”
Russian tour operators who have booked tours with other companies have no problems. Tez Tour Greece Managing Director Dimitris Haritidis says:
Our company has its own host office in Greece. In the summer season 2021, the company is already actively welcoming guests. Tours are offered on the basis of flights of the national air carrier of Greece – Aegean Airlines. Departures operate on the routes Moscow – Heraklion (Crete), Moscow – Rhodes and Moscow – Corfu. From July 24, the tour operator will offer tours to the Peloponnese on NordStar flights.
The General Director of the “Last Minute Voucher Shop” network notes:
“As for our company, we have a scanty amount of reservations at Mouzenidis. But since we are a franchise network and are in close contact with all the offices that issued tourists, we are trying to help them find alternative options from other tour operators.”
Another problem in Greece is the cost of air travel, which explains the drop in the number of bookings in this direction. A spokesperson for one of the tour operators says:
“Now we are fixing the highest prices for flights to Greece in the entire history of our travels to this country. Tickets reach 80 thousand rubles one way. All this is due to the fact that there are no charters and the amount of transportation is limited.”
However, very soon, starting from July 24, an increase in flights from Russia to Greece is planned, which allows us to hope for an improvement in the situation:
“Hopefully, the cost will fall because carriers start to cut prices dynamically as demand decreases. And the more flights there are, the more affordable the tickets.”
Recall that the Mouzenidis Group holding specializes in sending tourists and serving them in Greece. In Russia, the company is known as a long-term leader in the direction. Obviously, the difficult financial situation associated with the restriction of tourism due to the coronavirus was aggravated by the death of the owner and ideologist of the holding: on the night of March 26-27, 2021, Boris Mouzenidis passed away.
Problems encountered in the activities of the world famous travel company ready to solve Ivan Savvidi – he offers $ 30 million for the acquisition of Mouzenidis Travel Greece.
As you know, Ivan Savvidi, an entrepreneur and philanthropist, the owner of the Porto Carras hotel complex in the Sithonia region (Halkidiki), was a friend of Boris Mouzenidis, the founder of the Mouzenidis Group holding, who passed away on March 27 this year. According to the leading Greek media outlets, in the summer of last year, Savvidi made two offers to Mouzenidis to acquire a controlling stake in the company. However, he rejected them, since at that time he was negotiating with banks.
The investor plans to channel resources, both in cash and in the form of guarantees, to replenish the working capital of Mouzenidis, to financial settlement: loan debts, obligations to suppliers, hotels and tourists.