MOSCOW, May 8 (RAPSI) – A bill seeking to empower the government to set special procedures for refund of payments consumers made for booking, tourist tours, and travel tickets in anticipation of or amid emergencies has been submitted to the State Duma, according to the database of the lower house of Russia’s parliament.

The planned amendments to the legislation envisage that when an emergency looms or takes place, or in case another country closes its borders for tourists, or the situation in another country threatens lives and properties of tourists the government is to be able to suspend obligations of travel agencies to return the funds paid for tours on condition they guarantee their clients participation in other equal tours within a certain period of time.

In case a client fails to use the respective tourist product within the aforesaid period of time, the responsible travel agency is to return the money paid by the client and the interest on it accumulated over the period the agency used this money not later than 10 days since the date the guarantees it provided expire, according to the bill.

In the situation described above, the government is also to be empowered to determine the specifics of cancelling or postponing of hotel or other housing reservations, as well as procedures governing respective refunds; the same is envisaged in regard to travel arrangements.