SANYA, China – A chartered flight took off early Sunday morning with 169 Russian tourists who were stranded in southern China after their tourism agency went bankrupt, provincial government authorities said.
A total of 740 tourists from Russia were stranded in the cities of Sanya and Wanning and Ledong County in the island province of Hainan after their Russian tourism agency, South Cross, declared bankruptcy during their trips to China, according to the Hainan provincial tourism development commission.
Hainan has negotiated with Russian airlines to dispatch two airplanes to take about 600 stranded tourists back home on Sunday. More efforts are under way to return the remaining 100 tourists, said Chen Tiejun, deputy director with the commission.
Government authorities in Hainan have offered help to ensure their journey back to Russia, and 22 hotels in the province have accommodated the stranded tourists.
Translators, transportation, and some meals and hotel rooms have also been provided for free after the charges were left unpaid by the Russian agency.
Hainan has been devoted to making the island, with its warm climate and beautiful coast, a world-class tourist destination by 2020.
Russia has been the top source of foreign tourists to Hainan for the past several years. In 2013, Russian travelers made 124,900 trips to the province.