Cyprus Mail

Tourists stranded as Russian agency goes bust

By Constantinos Psillides
Around 600-700 Russian tourists have been stranded in Cyprus after the Russia-based travel agency Solvex filed for bankruptcy on Monday.
Association of Cyprus Travel Agents (ACTA) president Victor Mantovanis assured on Tuesday that all tourists would make it back home, expressing his concern over the fact that Solvex was a major provider for the tourist industry.
“They are insured for this eventuality so they are covered. What remains to be seen is on which flights they will board to head back home,” Mantovanis explained, adding that this development won’t affect the tourist industry for now since the summer season is nearly over.
Solvex brought around 15,000 tourists a year to the island and the government should be concerned that a number of large Russian travel agencies have closed shop, Mantovanis said.
“At the moment we are highly dependent on the Russian and British markets. We should change that. In Greece the two largest markets account for 23 per cent of their tourist revenue while in Cyprus it’s 65 per cent. That is not healthy and shouldn’t be let to continue. I’m not saying that we should drop Russia and England. I’m merely suggesting that we should also look into other markets, like Italy, Spain or Germany,” Mantovanis said.

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