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WTN applauds a New Trend for Travel Companies to Stop Selling Destination Russia and Stand with Ukraine

Are you selling trips to Russia? Are you standing behind Ukraine? You are encouraged to boycott travel business to Russia.

It may become difficult for travelers and travel agents to find tour operators or to sell Destination Russia.

Just in 2019, Russia hosted the General Assembly of the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) in St.Petersburg. In 2002 the same UNWTO wants to suspend Russia from its membership.

A new trend is developing with tour operators and airline booking agencies eliminating Russian airlines, hotels, and destinations from its destination and portfolio.

Not only had Aeroflot suspended almost all of its international flights, but also foreign airlines are discontinuing service to the Russian Federation.

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Today a Norwegian online booking tour company announced today that Russian content and bookings are being blocked on its website. Russia’s aggressive move on Ukraine has pushed a large online travel company to take this action.

Executives in the same company are calling for its competitors Kayak and Expedia to follow their lead.

The World Tourism Network applauds this initiative in stating, that tourism is the custodian for peace. In taking frustration into meaningful action shows leadership. We also encourage others to follow their lead in speaking out against wrong, bullying, and war. has today announced that all Russia content and bookings are being blocked on our website. Russia’s aggressive move on Ukraine has pushed us to take this action.

Cutting off Russia on the website, eliminating Russian destinations from its flight and hotel search engine, the company has also taken down all content pertaining to Russia – destination guides, airline and hotel reviews (including Aeroflot) – many of which are owned by Russia’s oligarchs. 

“Now, more than ever, the world needs to stand united against Russia. It is also personal for us as we work side by side with an outstanding Ukrainian web team which has helped us develop and maintain our site. Their input, creativity, and know-how have helped our business become the success it is today.

With our colleagues, our friends, experiencing the very real terrors of the war on the frontline in Ukraine, we simply cannot just stand by, hoping for the best. Everyone who can do something, must,” says Jason Eckhoff, CEO of Norwegian BusinessClass online booking company.

“We are an apolitical commercial company, and we have no intention of punishing the Russian people, many of whom we count as friends but we cannot in good conscience allow the aggressors to profit at this time and we will not – until further notice – publicize Russia as a destination, nor its airlines and hotels.

“I am now calling on all travel companies to join us by excluding everything relating to Russia in their respective services until this terrible, unprovoked invasion comes to an end,” continued Jason Eckhoff, who adds he already has personally contacted executives at organizations including Kayak and Expedia. “Right now, it is vital that we all stand with Ukraine”. 

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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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“I am now calling on all travel companies to join us by excluding everything relating to Russia. I notice this as a new marketing tool this time. Are we now picking sides in the travel business? Carnival Corp. became the first cruise company to come out against Russia, declaring “We stand for peace.” I don’t remember seeing this when the US invaded Iraq. Or the war in Yemen or the occupation in some areas of the world. Are we now going to stop selling China because of what they are accused of doing? If we are going to make this about marketing there is a long list of countries I can add to the list.

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