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RIU Hotels and Resorts’ new Witch-Hunt Against Russian Tourists

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US and European-based hotel companies including Marriott, Hyatt, Accor, and Hilton still operate in Russia, causing the scream.travel campaign urging them to close operation.

eTurboNews asked earlier this week if the global travel and tourism industry is really supporting Ukraine?

Mallorca, Spain-based RIU Hotels & Resorts is not operating hotels in Russia but has blocked access to its website for Russians. The popular hotel group is no longer accepting bookings from tourists located in the Russian Federation.

Juergen Steinmetz, chairman of the World Tourism Organization, who put in place the Scream for Ukraine campaign said:

“As much as we support and urge non-Russian hotel groups to stop operations in Russia, we cannot endorse the move by RIU Hotels & Resorts against Russian visitors. The reason we urge foreign-owned hotel groups to seize operations in Russia is that money earned in operating such properties will generate money for the Russian government. Such money will indirectly support the financing of the unprovoked war against Ukraine.”

” I fail to understand how a Russian visitor spending money at a hotel outside Russia could benefit the Russian government. We understand tour operators in Russia pay taxes to their government. If this is the concern, I can understand.

“What about direct bookings? RIU should rethink this new policy against Russians. According to the UNWO, travel, and tourism a human right for everyone, and stopping a guest from staying in a hotel only for a reason they may carry a Russian passport is discrimination.

Tourism is a custodian of peace. There is no place for any discrimination in tourism. Ordinary Russian citizens are not the enemy. Allowing a witch-hunt against the Russian people is wrong. “

“We urge RIU to adjust its policy and accept direct bookings by Russian visitors.”

Other hotel groups are expected to follow RIU’s lead in preventing visitors from Russia to stay at hotels.

The Spanish hotel chain RIU Hotels & Resorts is popular among Russian tourists. It operates in the United Arab Emirates, the Dominican Republic, Germany, Jamaica, the Maldives, and Sri Lanka – among other popular holiday destinations. As of April 13, it stopped working with Russian-based tour operators.  

The following letter was received by Russian travel companies on April 12.

No new bookings will be accepted from 13 April until further notice. Representatives of RIU Hotels & Resorts assured Russian tour operator PAKS that guests who have RIU vouchers in their hands will be able to spend their vacation as booked. New bookings from Russia will not be confirmed yet.

It is impossible to book a tour, both for tour operators and independent tourists. The bonus program is also closed.

RIU Hotels & Resorts did not respond to eTurboNews for clarification.

Russian tour companies represented by PAKS, Maldives Bonus, ICS Travel Group, Maldivian, Pantheon, Art Tour, Sletat.ru, and OSA-travel submitted a letter to the management of RIU Hotels & Resorts.

Russian Tourism Stakeholders reached out to RIU Hotels

For some time now, the Russian tourism market has received disturbing news about the suspension of the RIU Hotels brand in the Russian market and the reception of Russian tourists at some of the brand’s resorts.

We consider this step unacceptable in the modern world. Such actions violate the principles of equality and respect for human dignity based on nationality and violate the rights of many international conventions and laws, such as the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, and the United Nations Declaration on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination ”, and also testifies to double standards.

We would like to remind you that tourism and hospitality are designed to strengthen international relations and cooperation, stand outside politics and exclude any racial prejudice. Relations between the brand and the Russian market have been successfully developing over the years, hundreds of thousands of tourists have visited RIU resorts and such steps can be irreversible, as well as adversely affect the reputation of the brand itself.

Before forming your final position, we urge you to make a well-considered decision that will not harm cooperation, and the industry and will not lead to a crisis in the relationship between the brand and the Russian market.

About the author

Juergen T Steinmetz

Juergen Thomas Steinmetz has continuously worked in the travel and tourism industry since he was a teenager in Germany (1977).
He founded eTurboNews in 1999 as the first online newsletter for the global travel tourism industry.

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1 Comment

  • I booked RIU after this news broke. Holiday without russians will be so much better for others. For many many reasons. Best time to go RIU.

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