Russian travel agencies push for restrictions on Booking, Airbnb

Phot. Sergei Pivovarov/Reuters/Forum

Domestic tour operators urge the Russian authorities to restrict the activities of American tourist services in the run-up to the 2018 FIFA World Cup. On June 4, the Federal Agency for Tourism will consider their proposal.

It is the director of one of Russian travel agencies who came forward with the initiative. He sent an open letter to the Ministry of Culture as far back as April.

The businessman proposes to introduce a limit on reservations of Russian hotel by clients inside the country via, he told RBC news agency. According to his plan, the limitation should not apply to reservations outside the territory of Russia, i.e. Russians will be able to continue booking hotels in other countries, as well as customers in other countries will be able to book accommodations in Russia.

Some Russian tour operators also offer to take similar measures against TripAdvisor and Airbnb services. In their opinion, this ‘will expand the field of promotion of Russian projects’.

Online booking service, accommodation-sharing site Airbnb and travel service TripAdvisor belong to US companies.

Moscow’s aggression in Ukraine resulted in US imposing sanctions on Russia in 2014. Then the United States expanded them in response to the Kremlin’s possible meddling in the latest presidential election. In response, Russia introduced counter-sanctions.

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