You no longer have to think about how to buy cash currency or get bank cards that work abroad: now Russian tourists will be able to get “quiet rest and familiar services” while relaxing abroad, when buying a new deposit service together with the tour. It has sharply become relevant and in demand after the termination of VISA and Mastercard in Russia. The service has already been launched by several Russian tour operators – and, according to experts, it is in great demand.
As noted by some of the experts of the tourist market, the initiative came “from below” – questions about the possibility of transferring deposits in advance to hotels for services began to come from agents and tourists. “We worked out a scheme with host companies and hotels and offered this service to the market. With the help of a deposit, tourists have the opportunity to pay for additional meals, excursions, massages and much more on the spot,” Russian Express representatives explained to ATOR.
The algorithm for using is relatively simple:
- < li>When booking a tour, the tourist pays the amount of the deposit in rubles. Its exchange is not limited by anything, except for the possibilities and wishes of the tourist. For prices on vacation, the tour operator or travel agent should orient. Tour operators warn that the deposit must be paid in advance so that the money can be credited to the hotel's account by the time tourists arrive – and due to the sanctions policy, this takes from 3 to 5 days.
- The tour operator transfers the deposit to the hotel or host company when making a tour – in foreign currency. As the experts explained, “Not all Russian banks have SWIFT disabled, there are other ways besides it.”
- On vacation, a tourist can use this deposit to pay for additional services both at the hotel and at the host company. This can include excursions, tickets to museums, water parks and much more.
- A tourist can issue a refund for the unused part of the deposit. True, as experts warned, for this you will need to present all checks. Next, the tour operator sends a request to the hotel and, after the money is returned from the hotel, they are returned to the tourist, and they are warned that this does not happen “at once”.
The service has already been appreciated by both tourists and travel agents, experts say. Basically, while it applies to “luxury” offers. For example, in the Maldives, deposits have become one of the common options since April 2022.
According to the statement of the Space Travel tour operator, “arranging a deposit for Russian tourists is possible in almost any country where there are five-star hotels or luxury hotels.” Among the countries, PAC Group named some hotels in Italy, the Maldives, the United Arab Emirates, Egypt, France, Serbia, Thailand, Sri Lanka, Mauritius and other countries. “All hotels that are interested in the Russian market go to work with Russian tour operators with the option of a deposit for tourists, and there are a lot of such hotels, there is a choice,” PAC Group assured. In general, the service is already in demand by tourists, and both hotels in other countries and other tour operator companies are “thinking about” introducing such a service.
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