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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Monopoly on Travel

Once, there were only three travel agencies in Russia -- Intourist, Sputnik and the Central Tourism and Excursion Committee. With the liquidation of the government monopoly on international traveling, a multitude of new travel agencies were born. Presently, more than 6,000 agencies are doing business in the country. There are more places Russian citizens can visit, and the procedure for going abroad has been simplified.

There is acute competition among most of the new travel agencies, which are concentrated in large cities. But the regional market is more or less monopolized ... This lack of real choice and the poor organization of travel agencies leads to the violation of elementary consumer rights ...

The most frequent violation of legislation that protects consumer rights in international tourism services is the absence of an officially documented agreement with the client ... Experience shows that travel agencies try to limit their responsibility to clients as much as possible.