Russian honorary consul set free the “hostages” of Ambassador Hotel
According to the report of the honorary consul of Russian Federation in Thailand’s Chonburi and Rayong provinces Mr. Viktor Kriventsov, over a thousand customers of Lanta-tour Voyage still remain in the consular district.
“On January 27 and 28 we were in touch with the management of Lanta Tour Thai inbound tour operator. But on January 29 the office was closed, the phone lines went dead, the staff, including hotel and sightseeing guides stopped providing tourist services, transfers to other towns came to a halt” – told Viktor Kriventsov. He also confirmed that there were numerous cases of fraud by Lanta Tour Thai’s staff, who were taking advantage of the situation, selling sightseeing trips to tourists and then disappearing with their money. “We help the affected holidaymakers to communicate with police. And as a consulate we will definitely do whatever is needed to resolve the issue”.
Since Saturday the honorary consul office received over 300 claims from Lanta’s tourists accommodated in seven hotels in Pattaya, there were also calls from Phuket Island and Bangkok.
The toughest situation was seen at the Ambassador Jomtien Hotel, where around 180 tourists were practically kept as hostages. “After we have talked to the hotel management the guests were allowed to access the safes where they stored their money and documents. The hotel agreed to provide special fares for accommodation of Lanta’s tourists, whose booking had not been paid for” – said Viktor Kriventsov, adding that the hotel claimed to have 80 of such rooms. However, the consulate was not able to verify this number. The parties also reached an agreement, allowing the tourists to leave the hotel before the initial departure date at no additional fees. Some of the tourists only paid for their actual stay, others decided to pay for their entire stay. “We explained them that the money will be reimbursed to them using the tour operator’s financial guarantees” – says Viktor Kriventsov.
He also marked the obligingness of Aeroflot and Transaero who fulfill their obligations to the tourists, the high activity level of Rostourism and Consulate department of Russian embassy to Thailand as well as the readiness of another Russian tour operator Natalie Tours to provide feasible help to stranded tourists.