Natalie Tours announces dissolution; CEO denies
The announcement appeared on the tour operator’s website on the morning of August 14. Later it was replaced with a message that tours between July 4 and September 30 would not be sold.
Natalie Tours posted an announcement on its website stating it ceased its activity. Meanwhile, the CEO Vladimir Vorobyov denied the information in a statement to RBC. He said the message had been posted due to the "human factor" and promised that the company would resume its operation on October 1. Soon, the site reported a suspension of sales between July 4 and September 30.
Alexander Osaulenko, the director of the Turpomoshch association for outbound tourism, noted that customers would not be able to get money for prepaid tours just yet, Interfax reported. According to Osaulenko, Natalie Tours did not cease the activity, which means the company does not assume any new obligations; but otherwise the situation remains the same.
In early July, the tour operator announced that all prepaid tours would be canceled and new ones would not be sold anymore due to financial strains. The damage to Natalie Tours clients was estimated at 1.2 billion rubles ($17.6m). Ingosstrakh that had insured the operator's liability stated that it would not pay compensation to the victims unless the company announces its dissolution.
In mid-July, it was reported that the Investigative Committee had started checking Natalie Tours over the cancellation of some prepaid tours. On July 13, investigators searched the company’s office and seized some documentation.