How to return home to Russian tourists in Greece

Greece and Cyprus have closed their airspace to Russian aircraft. But about 4 thousand tourists from Russia may be on vacation at this time, and their return home is difficult.

In the Association of Tour Operators of Russia, as reported GreekReporter, It is estimated that, in addition to about a hundred organized tourists, more than two thousand independent tourists can travel around Greece:

According to ATOR Vestnik sources, as of February 28, up to 100 organized Russian tourists and about 2-2.5 thousand independent travelers may be in Greece. Now there is a low season in the Greek direction, so there were no mass arrivals of package tourists to Greece.

Greek authorities announced the closure airspace and suspension of flights from Russia for three months, that is, until May 27, 2022. At the same time, there remains the possibility for flights from Russia for emergency or humanitarian purposes. If necessary, Russian companies can organize export flights, ATOR stressed.

Experts recommend that Russians in Greece consider returning to Russia via other airports – the Middle East or Istanbul. In Cyprus, which also announced an exception from the general ban on Russian flights for humanitarian and emergency flights, there may be approximately 1.5-1.6 thousand tourists from Russia, including up to 150 organized ones.

According to RIA News, Russian tourists have stopped booking tours against the backdrop of Western sanctions, but tour operators are pinning their hopes on the development of tourism towards the Middle East and Southeast Asia. Artur Muradyan, CEO of Space Travel tour operator, says:

“Booking tours to Egypt and Turkey has stopped, many are afraid of restrictive measures and are afraid to fly. There are many cancellations – 20-30%. It would be more if people did not understand that if they refuse, they will return the amount at the old exchange rate in rubles. But for others, this while the Middle East and Southeast Asia are open, the situation is not encouraging, but it is not critical either. that 50% of the outbound industry will stop, despite the open countries.”

Igor Blinov, director of development of travel agencies, notes:

“Now it’s absolutely calm, because people need to rethink everything. It’s also the off-season, and sales for holidays with departures in the coming dates are at a stop. People are not buying anything. We hope that tourists will start booking tours after all. Yes, we have closed west, but opened south and southeast Asia Allowed flights to China, increased flights to Thailand Vietnam is not far off Turkey, Egypt and North Africa are not announcing closures We hope all of them will remain open, and tour operators will focus on these regions. We hope that nothing more global will happen.”

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