German Season at Risk

German Season at Risk

20.12.2006, 18:22
441
German Season at Risk
[IMG=21867-7672]The German Consulate in Moscow announced December 20th to be the last day when visa applications are accepted owing a big current number of applications. ‘Until January 5th the Consulate will only issue visas. However, travel companies will be allowed to bring to the lacking documents including tourists’ signatures on the insuring documents. The Consulate will start accepting documents in the normal regime starting from January 8th and visas will be issued in around 8-9 days. Therefore, we do not accept documents from tourists who want to go to Germany on January 10th – 14th. They simply will not get visas in time’, commented Svetlana Stroganova, General Director of Euro-Expo.ru. Travel market experts that specialize in the German market at the moment travel companies more and more often ascertain tour failures owing delays in visa issuing process. According to unaccredited information due to the high workload of consulate agents on December 19th the Consulate started proceeding documents received on December 7th’. ‘The perspectives are far from great. They do not cope with the workload’, stated Stroganova. Meanwhile, the necessity to sign the insurance policies adds difficulties to the visa issuing process. Thus, Maxim Pristavko, General Director of Jet Travel, stated as follows: ‘we had to invite our clients to sign their insurance policies’. Alexander Turchenko, Director of Chaika-tour, added: ‘tourists from regions send their signatures by fax. At the moment the Consulate allows fax copies but I believe it is a temporary measure in order not to fail the season. Apparently after the New Year period the requirements regarding signatures on insurance policies will be stricter’. ‘We will have to send documents to the regional cities by post or by means of courier services. Transport expenses will be included to a tour package cost that will evidently result in some increase in prices’, Stroganova said. Furthermore, on request from tour operators Russian insurance companies are preparing letters to the German Consulate aimed at confirming the legitimacy of insurance documents without client’s signature’. Meanwhile, travel companies forecast the increase in a number of delays and New Year tours cancellations’.
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