Lanta Viet, a local branch of the recently suspended Russian tour operator Lanta-Tur Voyach, is VND10 billion (US$480,000) in debt to their local partners, according to the Tourism Association in the coastal province of Binh Thuan.
After the Russian-based headquarters halted operations on January 27 due to financial problems, Lanta-Viet and its staff disappeared, leaving their customers at their partner resorts and hotels in Phan Thiet City, in Binh Thuan Province.
| Thousands of travelers who bought tours from Lanta-Tur Voyach are reported to be stuck in Vietnam, Thailand and India |
Nguyen Tri Thoai, deputy chief executive officer at Hoang Ngoc resort, a partner of Lanta Viet for 3 years, said the last contract they did together was last November and though the operator has transferred 50 percent of the contract’s value, it still owes the resort US$100,000.
Local Lanta-Viet partners said that Lanta-Viet now can do very little since the branch does not have the finances or savings to solve the problem.
Russian Consul General to Ho Chi Minh City Vladimir Borisovich Klimov said that general director at Lanta-Viet showed up at the consulate and was ordered to return to Binh Thuan to meet local partners, contact the headquarters under local authority surveillance and find a way to pay off debts.
The consulate representatives also arrived in Binh Thuan to work with the province’s People’s Committee, the Department of Culture, Sports and Tourism to arrange free flights for tourists to get home.
Last Monday, 75 Lanta-Tur Voyach customers moved from Phan Thiet to Ho Chi Minh City for the flight home. Currently, there are still 200 Russian tourists stranded in Vietnam.
Lanta-Tur Voyach is one of the leading Russian travel companies, working with more than 6000 agencies in Russia, the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) countries, and the Baltic region.
Thousands of travelers who bought tours from Lanta-Tur Voyach are reported to be stuck in Vietnam, Thailand and India.